COVID 19 – 28 January 2020

28 January 2020 

Dear Parents 

As you will have seen in the media the situation is rapidly evolving internationally concerning the Coronavirus. 

This is a new virus and its specific nature is currently unclear, however it appears that you can have the virus at an early stage and not be showing any symptoms. The incubation period is currently considered to be 14 days. 

Schools in New Zealand are currently returning from the Summer holiday break and will be closely monitoring information being provided by the Ministries of Education and Health in regard to Coronavirus. 

The Ministry is currently unaware of any cases of the virus in New Zealand. At this time the risk of an outbreak in New Zealand is currently low and the Ministry of Health’s current advice is that there is no specific action to be taken. Should the situation change, as we do with other infectious diseases such as measles, mumps and influenza, we will follow our pandemic plan for managing the illness 

For those of you concerned about possible infection, the Ministry of Health has provided practical information on their website which we encourage you to read – Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) guidance – Ministry of Health website Included in there is some advice (for travellers) to help reduce the general risk of infection: 

avoiding very close contact with people showing symptoms 

frequently washing hands 

avoiding close contact with sick live farm animals or wild animals 

practicing cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and wash hands). 

For any student who may be at high risk of exposure because they have recently been to an infected country or have been in close contact with someone confirmed with the virus, I ask you to contact the school and voluntarily stay away for the start of the school year for 14 days. (See list of Countries as at 28.01.2020). Checking with your GP is always a good backstop. 

As always any child who is unwell should not be at school. This will reduce the chance of any disease being spread through our community. 

Thank you in advance. 

Paul Engles