Principal's comment - 11 March

The arrival of the Covid 19 virus in New Zealand has generated a great deal of discussion. We are keen to keep discussion at school rational and calm. We will continue to plan, and that planning will be consistent with Ministry advice as the situation evolves; we are monitoring both the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health websites, as well as that of the World Health Organisation. In the next days/weeks we will post updates as they arrive from the Ministry of Education. At present, the core advice focuses on common sense and good hygiene practices:

 

COVID-19 Update Monday 9 March 2020

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) is now confirmed in New Zealand, but the Ministry of Health advise the chance of a widespread outbreak is low.

While the Ministry of Education website is being regularly updated with education-related content, the Ministry of Health is the Government agency leading the response to COVID-19 and should be your first port of call for health and status information (see link below).

Symptoms, prevention, and what to do if you're concerned

Symptoms

Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to a range of other illnesses such as influenza. Having any of these symptoms does not necessarily mean that you have COVID-19.

Symptoms include:

§ fever

§ coughing

§ difficulty breathing.

 

Preventing the risk 

You can take some simple steps to help stop the spread of diseases like COVID-19:

§ Avoid close contact with people with cold or flu-like illnesses

§ Cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing

§ Wash hands for at least 20 seconds with water and soap and dry them thoroughly: 

  - before eating or handling food

  - after using the toilet

  - after coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose or wiping children’s noses

  - after caring for sick people.

 

Go to the Ministry of Health website for more information about preventing the risk:

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) guidance – Ministry of Health

 

What to do if you're concerned

If you have the symptoms and have recently been to a country or area of concern, or have been in close contact with someone confirmed with COVID-19, please call Healthline's COVID-19 line, with translators and interpreters available 24/7 in 150 languages:

§ Free call 0800 358 5453

If you intend to visit your GP or an after-hours medical centre, phone ahead to let them know.

More health advice and virus prevention information is available on the Ministry of Health website.

 

Ross Sinclair
Principal