Dear Parents, Caregivers and Whanau
COVID – 19 (Coronavirus) Update 4
2 March 2020
As a school we are continuing to monitor closely the situation with the COVID-19 (coronavirus) and what information is being provided by the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Ministry of Health (MOH). As you will appreciate the situation is very fluid and continues to change almost on a daily basis.
Please note the latest information below:
Updated information from the Ministry of Health (MOH)
As announced recently by the MOH, there are now two categories for travellers arriving in New Zealand
Mainland China and Iran
People who have travelled from or transited through countries in category one in the last 14 days are required to self-isolate for 14 days and contact Healthline after they have left the countries.
Mainland China and Iran are the two countries included in this category (with Iran added to this category on Friday 28 February.
Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Singapore and Thailand
People who have travelled from or via countries lists in category two who develop symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath should seek medical advice by first phoning Healthline’s dedicated COVID-19 number 0800 358 5453 or contacting their GP including phoning ahead of their visit.
Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Singapore and Thailand are countries in this category are as at Friday 28 February.
- Anyone who has travelled from or transited through any of the countries listed in both categories with clinically compatible symptoms should be considered a suspect of COVID-19 case and testing performed.
- For any children, students or staff who have recently returned from Iran or China, they will need to go into a stay away period of 14 days (from when they left Iran or China).
- We encourage you to keep updated about the status of COVID-19 on the Ministry of Health website.
Help us to keep you and everyone else safe
- The Prime Minister has announced the first case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Auckland City, New Zealand.
- The overall situation regarding COVID-19 internationally remains rapidly evolving with a high degree of uncertainty and we continue to recommend a precautionary approach.
- It is critically important that we both protect New Zealanders from the virus and play our part in the global effort to contain it.
- The Ministry of Health’s assessment remains that there is a high likelihood of sporadic cases.
- Keeping individuals, families and our communities safe and healthy in the current global environment requires a team effort and that’s what we’re seeing across New Zealand.
- Healthline’s dedicated COVID-19 number, 0800 358 5453, is free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- The Ministry of Health (MOH) has noted that although we have our first case of COVID-19, the chances of community outbreak remain low.
- Practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene is the best defence:
- wash your hands often with soap and water before and after eating as well as after attending the toilet
- cover coughs and sneezes with clean tissues or your elbow
- put used tissues in the bin.
- If children are feeling unwell, please keep them at home until they are better and seek medical advice. If you are concerned that someone is showing symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath, encourage them to first ring Healthline (0800 358 5453) or contact their GP by phoning ahead of their visit to explain symptoms and travel history.
Other Key messages re: well-being:
- Some individuals may choose to wear face masks, as it is part of their cultural practice to do so to support their hygiene needs.
- Please respect that people are being proactive in keeping themselves and their families safe.
- Alongside teaching hygiene practices, we also need to be respectful of other cultures and knowledge of keeping others safe from disease.
What does this mean for the Middleton Grange School Community?
- Please remain calm and continue to reinforce effective hygiene practices.
- Please inform the school if you or your family have recently returned from Category 1 or 2 countries.
If a case is confirmed at Middleton Grange School, we would be instructed to follow any other directions by the Ministry of Health, which may include school closure. If this did eventuate, students would be able to access their learning on-line with teacher support.
The health of our students and staff is a priority for us all; therefore, it is important that we continue to monitor the situation closely and proceed with caution.
We will continue to keep our community up to date and well informed as best we can.
Thank you for your understanding and support with this matter. Please continue to pray for those affected and for those managing and co-ordinating our nation-wide response.
If you wish to contact myself or Colleen Steyn, International College Director, please do so via firstname.lastname@example.org.