Dear Parents and Whanau,
With the announcement that New Zealand has moved to Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact for COVID-19, people over 70 years of age and those with compromised immunity and certain existing medical conditions are asked to remain at home as much as they can from now on and avoid any non-essential travel. School families and staff are therefore asked to follow this advice if they have these conditions. Please contact the school office so that we know if your child is remaining home because of compromised immunity or existing medical conditions.
The March 21st announcement by the Prime Minister means some families will need to make different arrangements to care for vulnerable family members. School will not be closed. If your child is well, please continue to send them to school. I am not aware of any cases of COVID-19 in our community, if there was, the school would be contacted by the Ministry of Education and the local Medical Officer of Health. If there were any cases of COVID-19 at school, the school would be closed for a period of time.
School will be operating as normal on Monday, albeit we will evaluate further changes to school practices in the light of the Level 2 status. The following is an extract from a recent Ministry of Education circular clarifying vulnerable or 'high risk' individuals:
High risk individuals
While the majority of people who are confirmed with COVID-19 will experience mild to moderate symptoms, some individuals are at risk of more severe symptoms.
Older people, particularly those with pre-existing health problems are more likely to get severe illness and are therefore considered at risk. High risk individuals also include people with underlying medical conditions, such as:
- a compromised immune system
- liver disease
- kidney disease
- heart disease
- diabetes mellitus
The Ministry of Health has also provided the following advice:
Additional measures that you and your whānau and friends can take include:
- If you are immune-compromised, avoid staying with a person who is self-isolating (because they are a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19 or have recently travelled overseas.)
- You should stay at least 1 metre away from people who are unwell, if you are immune-compromised.
- It's also important that everyone helps to protect the safety of immunocompromised people living in our community. For example, if you’re unwell, avoid contact with someone who is immune-compromised.
- At this time, it wouldn’t make sense for someone who is immune-compromised to wear a mask when in public to decrease risk for catching COVID-19. However, if your health care provider advises you to wear a mask when in public areas because you have a particularly vulnerable immune system, follow that advice.
- If you are taking immunosuppressive drugs we advise that you do not stop this medication without first consulting your GP or specialist.
I appreciate this is a time of anxiety and worry for many parents and whanau. However if we follow the authorized Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education advice, we can reduce the risks to our tamariki at this present time.
Further health and Covid-19 information is available at: