March 8th UPDATE
Kia ora parents, whanau and caregivers
10 things you need to know about Alert Level 1
1. Schools are open and must operate safely.
At Alert Level 1 the virus is contained in New Zealand but not overseas. We need to have systems and practices in place in case COVID-19 reappears in our community.
2. There are no restrictions on personal movement at Alert Level 1 – all children and staff should be at school.
The only people who will need to stay away are:
- those required to self-isolate
- individuals who health authorities have asked to stay away while waiting for a test result (most people will be able to go back to school/work while waiting for a result)
- children, students and staff who are unwell.
3. Testing remains a crucial component in preventing an outbreak.
If a child or staff member is sick, they should stay home. If they have cold or flu symptoms they should call their doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice about getting tested. If recommended to get tested, they should do so.
4. Schools will close for cleaning and contact tracing if there is a confirmed case who was infectious when at school.
Your Director of Education will work closely with you and health authorities should this occur. Please contact your Ministry regional office if you hear of a confirmed case in your school community but haven’t been advised about it by health officials.
5. You must continue to support contact tracing through the display of QR Code posters and your visitor register, attendance register and timetable.
If a new case does appear in your community, your contact tracing processes will support the speedy identification of close contacts of the confirmed case. Please encourage your community to check-in using the NZ COVID Tracer app including when they are doing pick-ups and drop-offs.
6. There are no restrictions on numbers at gatherings.
Schools, like workplaces are not considered to be gatherings. Physical activities including cultural and sporting activities, practices and events can go ahead.
7. Fundamental public health measures continue to apply:
- Physical distancing – keep a safe distance from people you don’t know while out and about
- Hand hygiene
- Cough and sneeze etiquette
- Regularly cleaning and disinfecting high touch surfaces.
8. There are no restrictions on domestic travel.
People should avoid using mass transport if sick, awaiting a result from a COVID-19 test or required/recommended to self-isolate.
9. Face coverings continue not to be required when in school.
This includes school transport and charter buses hired by the school to transport students and staff to and from school. Anyone who chooses to wear a face-covering in any setting should be supported to do so.
Wellington is now in Alert Level 2 after community transmission of Covid in Auckland who are at Alert Level 3.
It has been great to see several days with no new community cases. However, as Dr Bloomfield has clearly stated, new cases are still possible and we need to continue to act with caution and do the right thing to keep our community safe.
With new variants and changed requirements for contacts of cases, New Zealand’s COVID response seems to be more complex and sometimes it isn’t clear what “the right thing” actually is.
The basics still work
We have a large amount of control over how we can prevent the spread of COVID-19. Even with the new variants of the virus, the most important things we can do remain the same:
For our school we will:
- display QR code posters for the NZ COVID Tracer app
- keep our visitor register, attendance register and timetables up to date to help with contact tracing if needed
- be monitoring for illness and asking anyone who is unwell to remain at home, or to go home
- encourage people with relevant symptoms to seek medical advice through Healthline (0800 358 5453) or their GP and get tested for COVID if recommended to do so
- reinforce the importance of good hand washing and drying
- reinforce good cough and sneeze etiquette
- clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces regularly
Your whānau will also have good practices to follow to keep yourselves safe:
- check in using the NZ COVID Tracer app everywhere you go (the sooner you get notified that you were at a location of interest, the easier it will be to keep yourself and your whānau safe)
- switch on the Bluetooth function on the app (go to the dashboard in the app to do this)
- always stay home if you are unwell and seek advice from Healthline (0800 358 5453) or your GP
- get tested if recommended to do so. Testing is free to everyone in New Zealand!
- wash and dry hands thoroughly and frequently
- practise good cough and sneeze etiquette
- regularly clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in your home
- wear face coverings on public transport
- for those of you who think you might have been at a location of interest at the specified time, follow the instructions on the Ministry of Health website or if you are unsure what to do, contact Healthline (0800 358 5453) for advice about getting tested
Get your information from good sources
- The Ministry of Education provides us with specific advice for what needs to happen in schools and early learning services. Some of the rules are different for schools than the rules you need to follow when we are out and about with people you don’t know. The main one is we have different physical distancing requirements than the general public. That is because we have good systems in place to prevent spread of COVID.
- The Ministry of Education also has information for parents, caregivers and whānau.
- The Government’s Unite against COVID-19 website is the main website to go to get great advice.
Āraia te kino and protect yourself, your whānau and your whakapapa.
Here is some additional information that you may find useful:
Top Tips to get through
Top tips to get through | All Right?
Advice for whānau
Wellbeing for parents and whānau
Support for Pasifika young people and whānau
Le Va: Home
Apps to support young people's wellbeing
Mental health and wellbeing apps
Tips for helping when things seem stuck
The Lowdown » The Lowdown
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