Dear Parents, Caregivers and Whanau
COVID – 19 (Coronavirus) Update 5
5 March 2020
For all COVID-19 Updates see the school website: https://www.middleton.school.nz/latest-news/
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 updated information from the Ministry of Health (MOH):
An extension of a further 7 days has been made on restrictions for travellers from
Changes to requirements for travellers arriving from
- Northern Italy
- South Korea
They will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days (calculated from the date they left South Korea or Northern Italy). They are still able to travel to New Zealand, there is no restriction of access to New Zealand for people arriving from these two countries.
- Category 1
- Travellers who have been present in or transited through countries in this category are being asked to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival
- Currently in this Category 1: Iran, China, South Korea and Northern Italy.
- Note for Iran and China, there are also restrictions in place for who can travel to New Zealand. New Zealand citizens, permanent residents, residents with valid travel conditions and their immediate family, will still be able to come to New Zealand. Australian citizens and permanent residents are also not subject to the travel restrictions if New Zealand is their primary place of established residence.
- Category 2
Travellers from countries in this category should be aware of COVID-19 symptoms. They do not have to self-isolate if well. They should self-isolate if they develop any symptoms of concern and ring Healthline (0800 358 5453) if they develop symptoms within 14 days of departing the Category 2 country.
- Currently in this Category 2: Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Thailand and Italy (noting northern Italy is in category 1)
Handwashing to prevent spread
All schools and early learning services are still in the Keep it Out phase of a pandemic plan. The preventative measures Health is encouraging schools and early learning services to practice are those of good hygiene, which include:
- Washing hands with soap and water before and after eating as well as after attending the toilet
- Covering coughs and sneezes with clean tissues or with an elbow
- Putting used tissues in the bin
- Encouraging staff and students to stay home if they are unwell
You will be aware that advice from Health asks everyone to wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, making sure you dry them thoroughly. Singing Happy Birthday twice, slowly should take about 20 seconds. To assist with this messaging, there are a couple of useful videos from the National Health Service (UK) that might help teach good hand washing techniques:
- Teaches hand washing technique (UK NHS):
- Hand washing happy birthday (UK NHS): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGJNspLRdrc
Rather than Happy Birthday twice slowly, the challenge you might set is to work out what song children and students could sing along to for 20 seconds.
The Ministry of Health
Updated their Advice for travellers as a result of this announcement – https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-novel-coronavirus-information-specific-audiences/covid-19-novel-coronavirus-advice-travellers .
We are continuing to keep our community up to date and well informed as best we can.
Thank you again for your understanding and support with this matter. Please do 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.