LCŌ AND Ministry of Education update #5 on coronavirus, COVID-19

A further Ministry of Education and LCŌ information update

Kia ora koutou. Talofa. Kia Orana. Malo e lelei. Bula. Fakaalofa atu. Namaste and Kumusta. Greetings to our LCŌ Community.

LCŌ cleaning upgrade

Yesterday (Wednesday) LCŌ’s cleaning company began an upgraded cleaning regime in light of the circumstances we find ourselves in. In summary, as well as our standard clean, this is a daily disinfecting clean of all high touch surfaces as well as the disinfecting of all desks and tables. This is in line with Ministry of Health guidelines.

Today’s rules on gatherings do not apply to schools

You may have seen today that the Government has announced that indoor gatherings of more than 100 people are to be cancelled. This does not apply to schools, early learning services, tertiary providers, workplaces, supermarkets or public transport. We will continue to provide you with guidance around events and gatherings that could be relevant to schools.

New government website

Today a new government website was launched whole of government website United against COVID-19  The Ministry of Health latest media updates are also on this site.

For COVID-19 health advice and information please continue to contact the Healthline team (for free) on 0800 358 5453. For those who have recently been overseas they can register with Healthline online.

Healthline’s main number is still the one to call for non-coronavirus health concerns – 0800 611 116. Whichever number you call, you will get professional health advice and information.


Rules on gatherings do not apply to schools

You may have seen today that the Government has announced that indoor gatherings of more than 100 people are to be cancelled. This does not apply to schools, early learning services, tertiary providers, workplaces, supermarkets or public transport. We will continue to provide you with guidance around events and gatherings that could be relevant to schools.

Why and when would a school close?

In the media there is a lot of discussion about school closures with many varying opinions being expressed and some misinformation.

Medical Officers of Health have the authority to close a school. They would only do so if there was a medical reason to do this.

At the time of writing we have seen one temporary closure of a school, Logan Park HS in Dunedin, following direction from a Medical Officer of Health. This was after confirmation that one student had been tested positive for COVID-19. That student is self-isolating and all their close contacts (150 students and staff) have been tested for the virus. It has been announced that all of those tests have come back negative.

Logan Park HS will reopen next week however those 150 students and staff will remain away from the school for a period of 14 days from when they last had contact with the student confirmed with the virus. This is a precaution only, to keep those people and those around them safe.

If a school were to have a case….

If a school were to have a case in its school community the Ministries of Health and Education have the capability to act quickly.

  • If a case is confirmed in the immediate school community (eg. a student, staff member, or member of their household), the Medical Officer of Health and Ministry of Education informs the principal and together the parties inform the community, quickly and clearly. 
  • If a case is confirmed of someone in a school, it is likely that the school will be closed temporarily by the Medical Officer of Health. This is allow time for close contacts to be traced, appropriate testing to be undertaken, and a careful clean of the school to be undertaken.

Reminder – who needs to self-isolate?

Anyone who has returned from overseas travel in the last two weeks should be self-isolating.

If you arrived before official border restrictions were announced, seeing out the balance of your 14 days in self-isolation is the sensible, safest and best thing you can do for the community around you.

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 like a cough, fever, shortness of breath, sneezing or a runny nose, call your GP (doctor).

If you do not have a GP call Healthline (for free) on 0800 358 5453.

People living in the same house as travellers who are required to self-isolate, need to minimise contact with them (avoiding being closer than 2 metres apart for more than 15 minutes). However, they are not required to self-isolate themselves.

I will put out another communication either immediately if there is a further update or within the next 2-3 days.

Ngā mihi

Richard Edmundson

Tumuaki-Principal