ST JOSEPH’S CATHOLIC
Novel Coronavirus Update #3 – February 7
Novel Coronavirus Update #3
Dear Parents & Whanau
This is the information the school recieved today from the Ministry of Education.
Current advice regarding who needs to stay away
We have collated the key information from the Ministry of Health website to support your understanding of current requirements for the stay away period:
- New border measures will deny entry to New Zealand for anyone who has left or transited through mainland China after midnight on 2 February 2020, with the exception of:
- New Zealand citizens (including those from the three Countries of the Realm: Tokelau, Niue and the Cook Islands), permanent residents and their immediate family
- Air crews on direct flights from mainland China who have been using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
- If have been in close contact with a confirmed novel coronavirus case you should self-isolate for 14 days. If you develop symptoms including fever, coughing and difficulty breathing you should ring Healthline (for free) on 0800 611 116 or your doctor.
- As of 2 February 2020, all travellers arriving in New Zealand out of mainland China should self-isolate for a period of 14 days from the time they leave mainland China.
- People who departed from mainland China before midnight 2 February are not required to self-isolate unless they have been in Wuhan City or Hubei Province in the last 14 days.
A key point is that the 14 day stay away period starts from when the person left China (or Wuhan City/Hubei Province). Not when they were due to start back at school or from when they arrived in New Zealand (eg, they may have travelled to another country before arriving here).
Stay away 14 day – guidance
Health has also updated their guidance today, for those that are being asked to stay away (Health use the words “self-isolation”). It has been updated to remove any confusion about what is required for those staying away.
This information will particularly be useful for homestay families and school hostels. The information may also be of interest to your school community including:
- If you have not been in contact with someone who has been infected with the virus, then your risk of being infected is very low
- People are being asked to take simple common-sense steps as you would with the seasonal flu-virus
- Health are only asking those people who have travelled in mainland China to stay away, not any other people who they may be living with.
This most current stay away guidance applies only to those who arrived from mainland China after 2 February 2020. The guidance may however be useful for those who arrived from Wuhan City / Hubei Province in the last 14 days, and are completing their stay away period.
Following the advice of health
At the time of writing there is no confirmed case of coronavirus in New Zealand, although the Ministry of Health do anticipate that at some stage this will occur. They are well prepared for such an eventuality as we are sure you are too.
In managing potential risk, your school or early learning service should be following the advice of the Ministry of Health. If your response varies from this, you may need to seek legal advice to ensure you are not breaching the Education Act or human rights considerations.
The following are some examples where schools and early learning services have been imposing requirements that do not align with Health’s advice:
- Asking individuals to stay away for 21 days rather than 14
- Asking individuals who have not travelled in mainland China, or had contact with anyone confirmed with the virus, to stay away
- Placing a 15 year old in an isolated accommodation facility with no caregiver on site
- Asking individuals who have travelled recently in Australia, Germany, France, India, Indonesia etc, to undertake a stay away period
- Asking for a Doctors’ certificate before they can return to their education providers
Please note we have worked with all schools and early learning services in these instances, to emphasise the Health guidance and ensure that appropriate actions were being taken.
We are aware that some of you are dealing with what can only be described as racist behaviour from a small proportion of your community.
- where children and students are not respected, or treated fairly, or discriminated against – respond fairly and effectively
- it’s important to remember that if bullying occurs for whatever reason, that bullying prevention is everyone’s responsibility
- ensure children and students who have visited affected areas are also publically supported, and that their culture and identity is respected.
If you have any concerns or questions, please contact me directly.
What You Need To Know
(Ministry of Education Publication)
While we are still learning more about this new virus –
We do know the risk of the virus spreading in New Zealand is very low
How worried should I be?
Your chances of catching the coronavirus in New Zealand are very low.
It is highly unlikely you will catch the virus walking down the street
Coronavirus appears to be as infectious as the flu and the symptoms are similar – fever, cough and shortness of breath. You are only likely to catch it if you are near to someone with the virus. Most people catch the virus from someone at home, a close workmate or someone they spend time with.
People will not be moving around the community if they are suspected or confirmed of having the virus – they will be in isolation. Their family and anyone they may have infected will also be asked to stay at home.
How serious is coronavirus?
People are being infected, mainly in China, but only a small number of those with coronavirus have died.
Most people have a mild to moderate illness with flu-like symptoms
People of all ages are being infected, but older people and those with medical conditions seem most likely to get seriously ill.
How do I protect myself and my family?
Everyone should protect themselves from the virus, as you would for the ‘flu –
Washing your hands regularly, or using hand sanitiser, is the best way to avoid this illness.
As with other illnesses, do not go to work or school, or see visitors if you are sick.
Cover coughs and sneezes with tissues or clothing, and wash hands afterwards
Avoid being near to people who are sick
Washing your hands often and covering coughs and sneezes will do more to protect you from the virus than a mask.
If you are sharing food, use utensils to serve the food and keep your personal spoon, fork, or chopsticks separate to avoid transmission through saliva.
What should I do if I think I could have coronavirus?
If you start to experience mild symptoms, then stay at home and call Healthline for advice: 0800 611 116. Interpreters are available on request.
If you start to experience more severe symptoms arrange to see a doctor urgently. Call ahead and mention your travel history. Difficulty breathing requires immediate medical attention and can be a sign of pneumonia.
Where can I find more information?
Information is updated regularly on the Ministry of Health website
What You Need To Know
(Ministry of Education Publication)
冠状病毒与流感一样具有传染性，并且症状相似：发烧，咳嗽和呼吸急促。 您只有在 感染者附近时才有可能被传染。大多数人是从家人，同事或共同相处过一段时间的人 那里感染病毒的。
如果您开始出现轻度症状，请留在家中并致电健康热线（Healthline）寻求建议：0800 611 116。若您要求可以提供口译人员。
定期更新的信息参看： Ministry of Health website （卫生部网站）