COVID-19 Community Update

Witherlea School: Wednesday 13th April, 2022

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Principal Update

Kia ora koutou Witherlea whānau,

You’ll be aware that Minister of Education Chris Hipkins has announced the move to Orange at 11:59pm tonight.

Although the change to Orange is taking place tonight, we are retaining our current settings at school tomorrow so that we have time to plan for these changes. We will maintain the expectation that students in Years 4-6 (and relevant staff) continue to wear masks until the end of the term.

The decision to move to Orange has been made on public health advice and reflects that we are moving past the peak of cases and our health system is able to cope. We are seeing that cases are declining due to high levels of vaccination and natural immunity after infection.

I wanted to give you an update on what the move to Orange means for our school.

At Orange, face masks are no longer required at school. However public health advice is that masks continue to be strongly encouraged when indoors. Wearing a mask is a key health measure that slows the spread of COVID-19 in indoor settings. For that reason, we ask that visitors to the school, including parents and whānau, wear a mask whenever they are indoors on school grounds.

We also ask that your child (if they are Year 4-6) continue to bring a mask to school every day. There may be times that we’ll ask them to wear a mask, too – for example, when we are having an assembly in the hall. If there are a high number of cases at school or in the community, we may ask that masks are worn in classrooms for a time.

We will continue to keep all the other health measures in place at school that we know slow the spread of COVID-19. These include ensuring our indoor spaces are well-ventilated, maintaining good hand hygiene and cough and sneeze etiquette, appropriate physical distancing whenever we can and, most importantly, staying home if we are sick.

We are looking forward to fewer restrictions and returning to school life that is a bit closer to normal.

We wish you and your whānau a wonderful, well deserved and healthy school holiday break and cannot wait to see you back next term!

Nga mihi nui,

Andrea Harnett


Witherlea School

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