1 February 2022
Dear Parents / Caregivers
This is an interesting topic... no one really wants to wear a mask... but this is what is expected and why.
We know the Omicron variant is particularly virulent through airborne transmission. Fortunately, most people who get COVID will have a mild to moderate illness and will fully recover in their own home, however, this is not necessarily the case for everyone.
In our school community we have students, staff and whānau who are immune-compromised, ill or have other vulnerabilities. Even when they are fully vaccinated, they could be more affected by Omicron. As a result, we are all obligated to play our part to minimise the spread of the virus.
Mask wearing is one of the most effective ways to prevent you or your child from infecting someone else, therefore, staff and students are required to wear masks when inside at school (and on school transport).
Public health advice is that an appropriate mask will fit snugly and seal well around facial contours. This can include single-use, disposable masks, reusable medical grade masks and fabric masks. The Omicron variant is more likely to be transmitted by breath than contact with surfaces hence the focus on mask-wearing, distancing, and having good ventilation in classrooms.
Please be assured that during each school day teachers will find as many opportunities for small groups, or the entire class to work outdoors. When outdoors and physically distanced, students can remove their masks.
A few extra things to consider:
Please name your child’s mask.
Check your child has a named container, paper bag or zip lock bag to store their mask in when outside.
Ensure your child has a jacket or jumper, and a school hat each day. Increased natural ventilation and extra time outdoors may mean it is cooler than expected, and we do not want our students getting sunburnt!