Update on Confirmed Cases

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28 March, 2022

Update on confirmed cases of COVID-19

at Lauriston School

Kia ora Koutou ma whanau o te kura Kotoku ko Lauriston,

There are now 6 confirmed COVID-19 cases in our school-with children testing positive from Mt Winterslow-Opihako (2), Mt Somers-Maungakiekie (2), Mt Alford-Te Maka Kaha (1) and Mt Harper-Mahaanui (1) - classrooms.

The majority of these cases have not been onsite at school over the past week, and had already been isolating with their families at home. One case from Mt Winterslow-Opihako reported as positive today was at school, up until last Friday 25 March.

As of today, there are 15 families isolating, with 19 children away, and with 6 children having tested positive since 24 March, 2022.

A early trend across the first 6 cases reported are as follows:

  1. All families had already taken appropriate steps to self isolate

  2. The majority of these children all travel on the same bus

  3. The majority of children are under Year 4 and so have not been required to wear a mask

How can sharing this information help?

It shows the importance of being vigilant in staying home and getting tested when a member of your family begins to feel unwell.

It also highlights the importance and benefit of wearing a mask to, from and during school- while this is not mandatory for students Year 0-3, it may suggest that doing so would be beneficial.

As we all try to do our best to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, it is good to be aware of the things we can do to reduce the spread or at least slow it down so that school can remain open as normal, until the end of term.

What you need to do

The health and wellbeing of our children, staff and community is a top priority so we are closely following the Ministry of Health guidance for schools.

At Phase 3 of the Omicron response, only cases and household contacts are legally required to isolate.

Families from Mt Winterslow-Opihako, Mt Somers-Maungakiekie, Mt Alford-Te Maka Kaha and Mt Harper-Mahaanui classrooms have also received separate notifications of their first cases, containing further advice and guidance for families.

We do not intend to continue to send individual classroom notices as each new case is notified within each classroom, but will instead provide a whole school update on numbers as we progress our way through the remainder of Term 1.

Please continue to follow good practices when it comes to your own health and the health of your whānau.

We will be updating our community on how the latest changes brought into effect at 11.59pm Friday 25 March impact on our school following advice from the Ministry of Education to Canterbury Schools this afternoon.

You can read the Prime Minister’s update here ( 23 March).

  • The traffic light system will remain with the Red Light setting to be reviewed on April 4, until then the country will stay at Red.

  • Changes that will come into effect from this Friday, 25 March, 11:59pm include the lifting of limits for outdoor events. This change will be welcome news for many, including sporting events for our schools and kura as some haven’t been able to take place or have been impacted by gathering sizes.

  • Use of My Vaccine Pass and the requirement to scan in, ends on April 4. All vaccine mandates will be removed from April 4, except for health and disability, aged care, corrections and border workforces.

  • The use of QR Codes is no longer required

In the meantime:

What we’re doing

  • We are staying open.

  • We are using public health measures to reduce the risk in our settings, including masks, physical distancing and good ventilation.

  • We have appropriate cleaning procedures in place.

What you need to do

  • You and your whānau should be very vigilant about monitoring for symptoms.

  • If any symptoms develop, get tested immediately.

  • Wear a face mask when out and about.

  • Wash hands often with soap for 20 seconds and dry your hands completely.

  • Wash your hands if you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

  • Avoid touching your face, and cough or sneeze into your elbow or cover your mouth with tissues.

  • If you and your whānau haven’t been vaccinated or boosted, please do so as soon as possible. You can book online or call 0800 28 29 26. It’s free.

Symptoms of COVID-19

  • A new or worsening cough.

  • Sneezing and runny nose.

  • A fever.

  • Temporary loss of smell or altered sense of taste.

  • Sore throat.

  • Shortness of breath.

Less common symptoms include diarrhoea, headache, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, malaise, chest pain, abdominal pain, joint pain, or confusion/irritability.

For more information, go to the Unite Against COVID-19 website.

If you or someone in your whānau tests positive for COVID-19

  • If you or your child receives a positive test result the household must isolate for seven days.

  • Household contacts must test on Day 3 and Day 7.

Returning to school after COVID-19

  • Students who test positive for COVID-19 are not required to self-isolate past seven days, but they shouldn’t return to school if they are still feeling unwell.

  • Many children will have a long lasting runny nose and cough after viral infections. If it is over 10 days since the onset of the COVID infection and they are no longer feeling unwell, they are unlikely to be transmitting any active COVID infection and can return to school. However, if they are continuing to feel unwell or their symptoms are worsening after 10 days then GP review is recommended.

Noho ora mai,

Colin Brodie