CORONAVIRUS 2019-nCoV: Current Board Advice to Parents:
2/2/2020: We request that, if a member of your household has visited mainland China in the last 14 days, you observe a self-quarantine for 14 days from the date of your return to NZ.
If you have visited any of the countries (or specific affected states/cities outside mainland China) listed at a time when a case was confirmed, have any questions and/or have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with the virus, please contact us so we can advise. A list of affected countries/areas is available below (scroll down).
After a self-quarantine period, children who have not developed symptoms can return to school.
Please use the school's absence form and we will be in touch to advise/confirm as soon as possible
This advice is under ongoing review - information and updates will be posted here
Update - Monday, 17/2/2020: Immigration New Zealand Coronavirus Update - All children and students
We know that a lot is being done across early learning, schools, kura and tertiary to support students affected by the disruptions. Thank you to everyone who is doing a great job and making students feel part of our education communities. It’s disappointing to hear of some instances of unwelcoming behaviour. All children and students need to be respected and treated fairly.
Please contact the Human Rights Commission should you need further support. Contact details are below.
Note: The announcement today by the Minister of Health has been made based on the latest scientific and medical advice provided by relevant experts. They have advised that the risk to public health in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands warrants an extension of the current border measures.
Health officials review border measures against broader public health criteria every 48 hours. Health officials will provide immediate advice should any information emerge that has a substantial impact on the border measures.
The Ministry of Health has reiterated that these travel restrictions only apply to people travelling through mainland China in the last 14 days. There is no requirement for people travelling to New Zealand from places outside mainland China to have a ‘stay away’ period.
This extends the period for travel restrictions only. It does not impact on the 14 day stay away period for those who have recently arrived in New Zealand from China, or having transited through China. Those that are required to stay away only need to do so for 14 days following their departure from China, and no longer.
New Zealand Human Rights Commission: If you know someone who has experienced racial discrimination related to coronavirus, the Human Rights Commission offers a free and confidential enquires and complaints service which you can use:
New Zealand Human Rights Commission Website
0800 496877 (if calling from NZ)
0064 93090874 (if calling from overseas)
Update - Friday, 31/1/2020: World Health Organisation (WHO): WHO has just declared 2019 – nCoV as an International Public Health Emergency
Other comments from WHO: China "needs the world's solidarity and support," and that "the world is pulling together to end the outbreak, building on lessons learned from past outbreaks." They talk about:
Facts not fear
Science not rumour
Solidarity not stigma
Update - Thursday, 30/1/2020:
There are currently no confirmed cases in New Zealand. with the Ministry of Health, but coronavirus is now classified as a notifiable disease.
The Ministry of Education is assessing the risk based on advice from the Ministry of Health and advising Boards as they continue to monitor the outbreak on an ongoing basis. As with any public health situation, it is important to avoid an unnecessary sense of panic and take precautions in a reasonable and measured way, based on official advice. The outbreak is a fluid situation, and the Board will be continue reviewing our approach and advising as necessary.
Symptoms of the disease include;
Can lead to difficulty breathing
There is currently no specific treatment or vaccine for Novel Coronavirus, which particularly affects the elderly, very young and/or those who are immunocompromised. Treatment is currently focused on the symptoms only. Further official information and updates on the disease can be found here.
We would also remind all parents of the following key points:
As always, anyone who is unwell should not be at school. If you have a particular concern about your child, you should contact Healthline without delay at 0800 611 116 or your GP for medical advice. (Healthline has translators and interpreters available 24/7 in 150 languages, including Mandarin and Cantonese speaking staff)
In state schools, students can be precluded where there are judged to be reasonable grounds to suspect that they may have a communicable disease (Section 19 of the Education Act). The student has to stay away for the infectious period of the specific disease
Please inform the school immediately if you or a member of your household is diagnosed with Novel Coronavirus, has been in direct contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with Novel Coronavirus, or who suspects they may be infected
As is often the case with public health situations of this nature, we would also caution that there is no cause for alarm, and that a significant amount of misinformation and hoax claims relating to the virus are circulating online/via social media
Self-quarantine can be reported using our absence form. Please fill in relevant information, including location(s) visited and dates of travel, as we will review these on a case by case basis and advise you with any recommendations as soon as possible.
The situation is under ongoing review, and our strategy and advice will likely change in response over time. We have implemented the following precautions:
Upgrade of ablution facilities
Briefing to all staff
Put in place protocols for isolations and medical care in sickbay
Checked travel of staff over the break to assess any potential risk
Further information from the Ministry of Education can be found here