Covid-19 Phase 3 Community Newsletter

MoE Letter Phase 3..docx

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. 


Home Learning:

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.


Aku mihi,


Paul Shepherd



Link to What Type of Contact Are You? Diagram below.


Community Newsletter Week 3, Term 1: 18th February

Kia ora koutou and greetings to all our families
We are coming to the end of week 3 and it has been a steep learning curve for us all. Please read these few points carefully.
  • 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.
  • 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.
To minimise the contact in and around the school, we have instigated staggered times for children’s play and specific areas for each syndicate to play in
  • 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.
Staff have designated areas for their syndicate to meet. This is so we do not lose too many staff should there be a positive case in the school. Staff must wear masks in shared areas and when interacting with parents or visitors.
This link might be useful. It is the most succinct advice about ‘close contacts’ that we have found and was updated 17 February.
Nga mihi
Be Safe, Be Kind, Be Caring

Paul Shepherd

Community Newsletter Week 3, Term 1: Tuesday 15th February
Kia Ora Whanau and Families
As you will all be aware, Covid-19 has increased in communities around NZ and the same is for Whangarei.
This means that it is now more likely that people will come into contact with a positive case out in the community.
At Maunu School we have a Covid Response Preparedness Plan, which involves working with the MoE and MoH if we are notified of a positive case in our school. This involves us identifying who at school is a Close or Casual Contact. Parents will be notified directly as to whether their child is a Close or Casual contact and the isolation requirements they need to undertake.
In the event of the school having a positive Covid-19 case, we will send a letter to the school community notifying them of this. This is general information and you will be contacted personally if your child is directly involved.
Please know that we are following MoH guidelines and if there is a case, we will be following their direction and process.
It is worth noting that, from time to time, we will have children who are self isolating as a result of being at a ‘location of interest’ where there was a positive Covid case. This is a very responsible action taken by the family and we appreciate their action. This type of isolation is not because of anything at our school.
If you do have to isolate, please let the school know immediately.
Please remember, that we want everyone to be safe. We have processes in place to keep the school functioning as normal, while looking after the safety of all.
It is important that we minimise the number of ‘visitors’ we have in the school. I ask that you do not come on site unless absolutely necessary, as we have no way of knowing who has been in the school for these casual visits, especially before and after school.
If you do have to come on site, you MUST wear a mask.
If your child has had a vaccination, it is helpful if you let us know.
Thank you for your cooperation and support in these very testing times.
Nga mihi
Be Safe, Be Kind, Be Caring

Paul Shepherd

Community Newsletter Week 1, Term 1: 2nd February
Kia ora whanau and families
We are about to begin our 2022 school year. This letter has a few notifications to be aware of.
The fact that Covid is on the rise has caused some alterations to the way we normally function. There are requirements from government policy which we have to adhere to. We will do the best we can to ensure that all our school community are safe in these uncertain times.
Our main concern is to have children at school and to treat everyone with respect and empathy.
  • 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.
Child Vaccination: The vaccination of 5-12 year old children is voluntary. If your child has been vaccinated and you are happy to inform us of this, it will help our contact tracing should we need to go down that path.  This information will remain confidential.
No child will be vaccinated at school. The school is not a vaccination centre and all children need guardian permission before they can be vaccinated.
Drop off & Pick up: to ensure we manage the number of people in the school, we ask that you remain outside when dropping off and picking up your child. If you do have to enter the school you must use the Tracer App or tracking register in the classrooms or office and you must wear a mask.
Drink Bottles & Hats: We cannot have the drinking part of the fountains open in RED, however the bottle filler facility is open. Please ensure your child has their own drink bottle at school each day. Hats are to be worn this term. If a child does not have a hat, they must stay under the green shade canopy during break times.
I know that these are unusual times. It is during times like this that we test our school Values and remain calm, respectful and  thoughtful.
Thank you in anticipation of a smooth start to our school year tomorrow.
Kind Regards
Nga mihi
Be Safe, Be Kind, Be Caring

Paul Shepherd

Maunu School
‘The Freedom to Soar’
09 438 8060