#3 Covid-19 Notice
16 February 2022 - Getting ready for a positive Covid19 case
Kia ora Parents, Whānau and Caregivers
With the number of Omicron cases increasing in New Zealand, the Government announced that New Zealand would move to Phase 2 of the Omicron response at 11.59pm last night in order to minimise and slow further spread.
To help us plan and prepare for Phase 2 of the Red Traffic Light setting all the ‘Getting to Know You’ meetings have been postponed. Thank you for your understanding. We will let you know when new dates have been organised.
This newsletter also outlines how we will manage Covid cases in our school. We are ensuring our communication and contact tracing systems are ready for when our school has multiple positive Covid cases. Our teachers are working to set up 'hybrid learning' programmes. You can read more about hybrid learning in today’s other newsletter which will be sent later this afternoon.
Omicron in the community: Phase 2 and what this means for you
This means changes for:
case investigation and contact tracing
isolation and quarantine
health and social support – care in the community
Things you can do to protect yourself and your family through all phases
Get your COVID-19 booster shot
Continue to mask, scan and pass wherever you go
Maintain good hygiene and physical distancing
Stay home if unwell. Seek medical advice and get tested
Thanks for all the messages of support and your patience and understanding as we all once again grapple with unpredictable events. A big thank you to staff who are working very hard to learn about hybrid learning, wearing masks and running classrooms under Red Light settings. Please contact the school with any queries or comments about our Covid-19 Response Plan and communications, as this will help us to target what really needs to be shared.
Most importantly – keep well, stay safe. Together, we will get through this!
Ngā mihi nui
Planning for Omicron cases in our Community
15 Feb: There are no known active cases in our community.
We are simply preparing for when the time comes.
Key Points for Managing Covid-19 in our school community
The health and wellbeing of our children and staff is our top priority.
Our Pandemic Response Team (PRT) has met to discuss different scenarios and possible responses to a local community outbreak, and how it may impact staffing and/or student attendance. Unknown factors are the length of time that an outbreak may continue, and how many staff or students will be affected at any one time. As this is an evolving situation, something that we all need to be prepared for is the VERY RAPID changes that will be put in place.
In some communities an Omicron outbreak may occur very quickly and infect a large proportion of people and affect those people isolating as a close contact at the same time. In other situations, there may be continuous impact on the community with rolling absences over a longer period of time.
It is our intention that school remains open during the term ahead for as long as possible. It is very important for students to be working face-to-face with their teachers and surrounded by their classmates, for as long as we can continue to offer this.
Closing onsite learning at Red is possible in extreme circumstances. While it is unlikely that all schools will be closed for public health reasons by MOH (like in previous lockdowns), each school’s Board of Trustees may consider that in extreme circumstances, staff and students may need to work remotely for a period of time.
What happens if the school is notified there is a positive Covid case in our community?
Here are the steps Paparangi will take if there is a positive Covid case in our community. We are sharing this information with you in advance to help you make arrangements if a staff member or students are identified as a positive case or a close contact of a positive case.
What if… someone in your household is a close contact?
If someone in your household is a close contact, your child should not come to school until cleared to do so under MOH requirements. You should advise the School Office about the close contact and test results. If your child develops symptoms, they need to get a test and stay home until they receive a negative result and have been 24 hours without symptoms.
If a household member has received a Covid test (whether a Close Contact or not), follow medical advice about whether your child needs to stay home until a negative test result is received. Please advise the School Office so that we can record their absence appropriately.
Current Definition of a Close Contact
You are a Close Contact if you have had contact with a person with COVID-19 when they were infectious. Close Contacts are at higher risk of getting COVID-19.
Whether you are vaccinated or not, Close Contacts need to:
stay home and self-isolate from others for 7 days (Phase 2), from your last contact with the case
get a test for COVID-19 straight away, following MOH requirements for further testing
if you develop COVID-19 symptoms get another test straight away
COVID-19 Immunisation for ages 5 to 11 is now available
Parents and caregivers now have the opportunity to protect their tamariki aged 5 to 11 against COVID-19, by being immunised with a child formulation of the Pfizer vaccine. The vaccine used is a children’s version of the Pfizer vaccine with a lower dose than used for adults. Children will need two doses of the vaccine and it is recommended to have the first and second dose at least eight weeks apart. There are a number of websites available with resources that will help explain what the vaccine is, how it works and whether the vaccine is safe for young people.
Other information to help us manage positive Covid cases
Contact tracing in our school
We have good contact tracing systems in place so that if there is a confirmed case who has been at our school while infectious, we can quickly identify who was a close contact of that person. We will then advise those contacts of what they need to do. If you enter school grounds visitors must scan and sign in. At Red we will keep as many students as possible learning onsite for as long as possible but it is likely that multiple classes or entire syndicates will be required to self isolate at short notice.
Please make sure your contact details we have on file are up to date,
so we can get in touch with you urgently if needed.
Children with complex medical needs
Parents may seek advice from their child’s health professional about when it is appropriate to learn from home or continue attending school. Teachers will work with these parents to develop a plan to best support their child’s learning during Phase 2 of the RED setting. Parents of students with High Health Needs are welcome to contact teachers for more information.
We are unable to provide devices like we have done in previous lockdowns. Managing outbreaks of Omicron means we are using a different approach as we may not have enough staff available to distribute and issue devices. We also anticipate that all school devices will be needed for the larger numbers of students we still have onsite during Phase 2. Please talk with your child's class teacher if you have questions about digital devices and learning from home.
For important information we will use emails and a text message. We will use digital newsletters like this for regular updates and the app for alerts. Please download the app if you haven't already and update your settings to receive messages from the right syndicate if your child has moved up a level.
Thanks for reading right to the end! I appreciate there is a lot of information to digest at the moment from school and other sources.
Ngā mihi nui
Remember that parents can use the App to send a message about a student absence. It is our preferred method of contact for non-attendance and is quick and easy to do.