Communication No. 9 25 February 2022

Friday 25 February 2022

Kia ora tātou

It was great to welcome a number of students and staff back to school today.

With the move to Phase 3 of the Omicron response last night, there are some changes to the way we are expected to identify and report covid cases. While there is a now much greater emphasis now on self-management, care and support will continue to be there for those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19. 

A key change is that under Phase 3 only positive cases and their household contacts are required to isolate. All other contacts should continue to monitor for symptoms and if any arise, then they should stay home and get tested. We ask that all staff, students, parents, and caregivers monitor for symptoms at all times. Students who need to isolate under these circumstances can move to online learning. They should check their google classroom and/or email regularly to find the work posted for them.

The use of masks, worn correctly, continues to be a key form of defense. Students and staff alike are expected to continue this practice in our school, as well as adhere to public health measures.

We will no longer be alerting the whole community to specific cases but ask that you continue to let us know if your child tests positive for COVID-19. 

The following communication has been provided by the Ministry of Education:

If you have COVID-19:

  • You will be notified by text. If you do not have a mobile number, you will receive a call.
  • You will be asked to complete an online COVID-19 contact tracing form if possible.
  • If you can’t do this, we will call you to complete this over the phone.
  • Cases are advised to notify your household, workplace and/or education setting.
  • You should also let your close contacts know you have tested positive. These are people you spent time within close vicinity when not wearing a mask eg, your partner or close friends.
  • You will need to self-isolate at home for 10 days from when you got tested or when your symptoms started.
  • Avoid contact with other household members to the greatest extent possible during your isolation period.
  • Wear a mask and physically distance in shared spaces during your isolation.
  • You can end your self-isolation after 10 days – you may receive a text message confirming the end of your isolation. You do not need to wait for an official message or release to leave isolation.

If you are a household contact:

  • You may be notified that you are a household contact by a person that you live with who has COVID-19, or by text.
  • If you live with someone who has been confirmed to have COVID-19, you need to self-isolate:
    • from the day that the case receives their positive test result (or is notified as probable)
    • until the case completes their 10 days of self-isolation.
  • You need to get a RAT test on day 3 and day 10 of the case’s (person with COVID-19) isolation period, and a test if you develop any COVID-19 symptoms. You will be advised how to access free RATs.
  • If any of these tests return a positive result, you are a ‘case’ and need to isolate for 10 days from either the day of symptom onset or the day you get a positive result.
  • Avoid or minimize contact with the person with COVID-19 to the greatest extent possible during your isolation at home.
  • You can end your self-isolation on the same day as the (first) person with COVID-19 in the household, provided all of your tests were negative including your day 10 test.

If you are a close contact (outside of the household):

  • If you have been in close contact with a person with COVID-19, that person may notify you directly.
  • You may also hear about this contact via your employer or school.
  • You do not need to isolate.
  • You do not need to test.
  • Monitor for symptoms for 10 days.
  • Get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms and if this is a PCR test, stay at home until you get a negative result.

Other key points

  • Locations of interest will no longer be published.
  • Scanning in using the COVID Tracer App will continue to be important as it will be a digital diary for a case to remember where they have been, and advise any people they may have been with or places they may have been
  • Bluetooth notifications will still be used.

For further information about phase 3 please refer to the following site: https://covid19.govt.nz/prepare-and-stay-safe/about-covid-19/our-response-to-omicron/#about-phase-3

Finally, we know how hard the impacts on COVID-19 have been for many families. If you know of a family in our community who is struggling, please encourage them to reach out for support for example to access food, medicine, or access financial support: Help is available – COVID-19 Health Hub.

We wish you all the best in these challenging times.

Ngā mihi nui

Grant Jones

Principal


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