Kia ora whānau

Coronovirus Update

For your information, all principals are receiving almost daily updates from Iona Holsted, the Secretary of Education, on the status of coronavirus and advice for schools. 

Some keys points:

  • Spread happens through coughing and sneezing by someone confirmed with COVID-19: similar to the way that influenza spreads.

  • COVD-19 symptoms are a fever, coughing and difficulty breathing.

  • Children and young people under 18 account for only 2.4% of all reported cases of COVID-19. This means we are unlikely to see widespread cases in schools and early childhood services.

  • If a child or young person does get confirmed with the case, 97.5% will get mild to moderate symptoms, only 0.2% are deemed critical.

  • The Ministry of health is leading New Zealand’s response to COVID-19. They are providing regular updates about COVID-19 through their website.

  • If there is a potential impact on a school or early learning service, the Ministry of Education regional teams will work closely with Health to support the school.

Some important advice for all of us on prevention:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 second and dry thoroughly. Parents please ensure you children know how to do this properly. Our teachers have also taught students how to do this.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Avoid sharing anything that has come in contact with saliva, whether in your living or social environments.

  • Stay home when you are sick and seek medical attention. This applies to all illnesses not just COVID-19.

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the rubbish.

  • Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals to ensure a healthy immune system. This is good advice at all times!

As COVID-19 is a notifiable infectious disease, treatment for people who have, or who are suspected of having COVI-19 is publicly funded under the infectious disease exception (to manage risk for others). This includes treatment for International Students.

Stopping stigma and discrimination

Some people are getting very worried about the disease. This fear and anxiety can lead to social stigma towards, in particular, Chinese or other Asian New Zealand people. Stigma hurts everyone by creating more fear or anger towards ordinary people instead of the disease that is causing the problem.

Heaton Intermediate employs a cleaning company. We are very satisfied that the company has put in place extra cleaning procedures such as cleaning all touch points for example door handles daily and the full cleaning and sanitising of bathroom fixtures and fittings also daily. Desk tops are being cleaned weekly.

As parents/whānau, the best three things you can do to support us in the management of Coronovirus and other illnesses is:

  • Ensure you children know how to thoroughly clean their hands and when they should do this

  • Ensure your child has a healthy diet and gets plenty of sleep

  • Keep your child home if he/she is sick

Last Friday, we had a memorial service to show our love and support for our Muslim community following the tragic events of March 15 last year. A magnolia tree, which has a beautiful white flower, has been planted with a plaque with lovely words written by one of our students. This was a very special and moving time and we thank our Muslim families who were able to attend and to our students who participated. Special thanks to Cathy Mundy, our ESOL teacher for all her work in organising this important occasion.

There will be a lock down practice on Tuesday, 24 March involving the whole school. The practice is coordinated by Harrison Tew, our professional advisors, on how this is done to maximise safety and care for students and staff. Our students and staff are very well prepared before we have the short practice. Please let your child’s teacher or me know if you have any queries or concerns.

Ngā mihi

Andrea Knight, Principal

By Andrea Knight