It is only natural that as cases in our community increase, they will appear in our school. We have really good systems in place to respond to this and to keep any spread of the virus – should it appear – to a minimum.
This research from New South Wales about their recent Omicron outbreak shows that spread within the school setting is very low (less than 4% of cases at school infected someone else when at school). This has been the case in New Zealand too.
This is why we remain open at Red. It’s great for a child’s wellbeing and learning to be at school with their friends and school staff, and we have very good systems in place to keep everyone as safe as possible.
Your job remains the same, too: please continue to keep a really close watch of your whānau for anyone with symptoms. If unwell, please stay at home and get advice about getting a COVID-19 test.
With Phase 3 of the Omicron response, the key change is that it is only confirmed cases and their household contacts who need to self-isolate. Everyone else, including those who may have had close contact with the case but aren’t in the household, must continue to monitor really closely for any symptoms of COVID-19. There is information online to help your family prepare to isolate if you need to.
Rapid antigen tests (RATs) are now being used to diagnose COVID-19 as well as PCR tests. This means that you will get an almost immediate test result back if a RAT is used.
If anyone in your family is confirmed as having COVID-19, you will be asked to notify your close contacts yourself. Please get in touch with us as soon as you can if your child has tested positive for COVID-19.
The most important advice we can give to keep your whānau safe is to act as if you have COVID-19. More than a third of people who have COVID-19 will not have any symptoms if they have had three doses of the vaccine. Please think about who you visit and what health measures you can put in place to keep everyone as safe as possible.
Finally, we know how hard the impacts on COVID-19 have been for many families in New Zealand. If you know of a family who is struggling, please encourage them to reach out for support for example to access food, medicine, or access financial support: Help is available – COVID-19 Health Hub.
If you have any concerns about sending your child to school, please do get in touch. We are here to help.