Information for schools about Novel coronavirus.

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.  This incubation period is currently considered to be up to 14 days.

Children are currently returning to classrooms. The health of students and staff is a priority for all.  Please err on the side of caution taking the following steps:

  • As always anyone who is unwell should not be at school.
  • If a student still attends school while showing symptoms they can be precluded if we believe on reasonable grounds they may have a communicable disease (Section 19 Education Act).
  • Any staff member or student who may be at high risk of exposure because they have recently been to China or have been in close contact with someone confirmed with the virus, are asked to delay the start of their school year for 14 days and voluntarily stay away.
  • Please keep an eye on our website and the Ministry of Health website: Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) guidance – Ministry of Health 

The key messages from the Ministry of Education are:

  • All schools are closely monitoring information being provided by Health, in regard to the Coronavirus
  • The risk of an outbreak in New Zealand is currently low and Health’s current advice is that there is no specific action to be taken at this time
  • Just to reaffirm, there are no cases of the virus in New Zealand currently
  • 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

Iona Holsted

Secretary for Education