Covid-19 Phase 3 Community Newsletter
Kia ora koutou
Our school newsletter went out on Thursday 24th with information about contact tracing in Phase 2, and we then changed to Phase 3!!
As expected, like most schools, we now have confirmed cases within the school and a number of household contacts (children who have people in their household who are positive).
It is important for everyone to monitor for symptoms as Phase 3 relies on self monitoring and self reporting.
Please notify the school if your children are household contacts or if they test positive. This information will remain confidential, but essential for us to keep functioning as a school.
We ask that we all remember our school Values and treat everyone with respect during these trying times.
This newsletter is to update you on what Phase 3 means for the community in general and for us as a school.
It is important to note that the main change is that in Phase 3, only household contacts of confirmed cases are required to self-isolate. The isolation period will be 10 days.
All other contacts (e.g. workmates, classmates, friends etc) of COVID-positive people are not required to isolate, but they will need to monitor for symptoms.
Rapid antigen tests will become the primary testing method.
Only household contacts of a case must self-isolate. All other contacts should continue to monitor for symptoms. If any arise, they should stay home from school and get a test.
Although New Zealand is moving to Phase 3 of our Omicron response, we are still at Red under the COVID-19 Protection Framework.
The same measures to reduce spread of COVID-19 remain in place: vigilance about symptoms and staying away if unwell continue to be a priority.
The following should be helpful for you to determine what you need to do:
If you have tested positive for Covid 19 and are isolating …
- If you have tested positive for Covid-19 you must self isolate for 10 days.
- Start counting your 10 days from the day that your symptoms started or the day you got tested if you do not have any symptoms.
- After 10 days, and as long as you are free of COVID-19 symptoms, you will be free to leave isolation.
- You do not need to be tested. If you were, the result would likely show as positive but that does not mean you are infectious.
- The others in your household (household contacts) will need to return negative tests on the relevant days before they can leave isolation.
If you are a household contact …
You are a Household Contact if you live with someone who is has tested positive for COVID-19. Whether you are fully vaccinated or not, you will need to:
- self-isolate from the day the person with COVID-19 tests positive or is notified as a probable case until they complete 10 days of isolation
- get a test for COVID-19 on day 3, and on day 10 of the isolation period, or sooner if you develop symptoms.
- If you test positive, you need to follow the guidance for people who have COVID-19.
- If someone else in your household tests positive, you do not need to restart your isolation period. You can complete your isolation at the same time as the first person in your household who had COVID-19 if your day 10 test was negative and you have no new or worsening symptoms.
Rapid antigen tests will now be used as a diagnostic tool
There will be a lot more rapid antigen tests (RATs) used at Phase 3.
PCR testing will be prioritised for people who are unwell and people who are more susceptible.
Anyone who tests positive with a RAT will need to self-report their positive result and then isolate for 10 days. There is no longer a need to follow up with a PCR test to confirm that result.
If your child is isolating, your child’s teacher will contact you to set up online learning opportunities. Please be aware that it is your call as to how your child interacts with online learning. Their first job is to get well and we do not expect sick children to be doing school work.
If you have any concerns about sending your child to school, please do get in touch. We are here to help.
Link to What Type of Contact Are You? Diagram below.
Community Newsletter Week 3, Term 1: 18th February
- A big thank you to all those who are working with us to minimise the number of visitors, and therefore contacts, in the school. By people staying out of the school grounds as much as possible, the school is much better placed to identify contacts should there be a case. If you do need to come on site for urgent business, you MUST wear a MASK.
- The senior syndicate are being amazing with their mask wearing. Thank you to the children, the staff and the parents who have taken this practice on board.
Phase 2 is with us and there are some significant changes to the way a school deals with an identified case. The school’s process is:
- Once a case has been confirmed, we will send an email to the school community.
- The school works with MoE & DHB to identify who is a Close contact and who is a Casual contact.
- Close contacts will be called and told they need to self-isolate for 7 days from the date of contact with the case and will need to get tested on Day 5. They can return to school on day 8 if the day 5 test was negative.
- A Casual contact continues to come to school as usual and self monitors. If they have any symptoms they will need to stay home and get tested.
- It does become more complicated when it is a family member of a child at school who is a positive case. The child will need to isolate and get tested. Commonsense will play a big part in this phase and phase 3.
- We are updating the website as fast as we can – however, the information changes often and without much notice.
- One thing is clear – in the identification process, anyone who is wearing a mask indoors is most likely to be considered a Casual contact and will carry on as usual.
- Junior Timetable : Break times from 10.00 – 10.30am and 12.10 – 12.50pm.
- Middle Timetable : Break times from 10.00 – 10.30am and 12.10 – 12.50pm
- Senior Timetable : Break times from 10.40 – 11.10am and 12.50 – 1.30pm.
- The school maintains a high hygiene and cleaning programme. Classrooms have disinfectant, sanitiser and hand cleaning material.
- Masks – Middle Syndicate: As mentioned before; children in the Middle Syndicate do not need to wear a mask in class as they are in a composite class. However, if they wish to they are most welcome. (refer to Mask Wearing below)
- Masks – Senior Syndicate: The Ministry of Health (MoH) & Ministry of Education (MoE) have stated that children and staff in Year 5&6 are required to wear a mask while indoors. They do not need to wear a mask in the playground. If you have concerns around this please email with any concerns. All information will be treated confidentially.
- Mask Wearing: Staff must wear a P2 or ‘better’ mask that meets the MoE & MoH mandate requirements. There has not been any information on what type of mask a child should wear, other than it must be one that has ear or head straps. However, there are certain practices that make the wearing of masks ‘safer’ and we encourage you to talk to your children about these. If you are having difficulty getting masks, please contact the school as we can support you in this. We are looking at a method at school that will ensure each child’s mask is kept safe and hygienic.
- Please be aware that some children will have reasons for not wearing a mask. We ask that you respect this and understand that the school has worked with these families and information is confidential.