COVID-19 advice

16 March 2020

Dear Parents/Caregivers

Most of you will be aware that we are starting to see signs of a possible increase in the number of people catching COVID-19 virus and of the Ministry of Health’s increased preventative measures.

Our school has an emergency management plan, a response to widespread contagious illness procedure and a pandemic plan, all of which we are following.   We are actively following the information and advice being provided by the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education with regard to COVID-19.  

In line with Ministry of Health advice, any member of our school community who returns to New Zealand from overseas after 11.59pm on Sunday 15 March, or has been in close contact with someone confirmed with COVID-19, is required to self-isolate, stay away from George Street Normal for 14 days, and register using Healthline's dedicated COVID-19 number 0800 358 5453. There is a list of Pacific countries which are excluded from this restriction. 

One action we can all take is to be vigilant about our own health and the health of each other. We are encouraging staff to stay away from school if they are showing signs of illness such as coughs and colds. We ask that you please do the same with students. Colds and flus are common in schools and by staying away, seeking medical attention and practicing good hygiene, we can all keep any spread of illness to a minimum.

Although cases of Coronavirus within New Zealand have now been confirmed, the Ministry of Health has said that with continued vigilance the chance of widespread community outbreak remains low. 

Everybody should continue to follow the basic principles of hygiene and cough etiquette to reduce the risk of getting an acute respiratory infection or passing it onto others. This includes:

  • regularly washing hands (for at least 20 seconds) with warm water and soap and drying thoroughly. You should do this before and after eating as well as after using the toilet

  • covering your coughs and sneezes with clean tissues or your elbow

  • putting used tissues in the bin

  • avoiding close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms

  • if you feel unwell you should stay away from school and avoid public gatherings and events.

An important part of emergency planning is ensuring we have up-to-date contact details for all students and staff. If your details have changed since you sent in the pink update information/permissions slip at the beginning of the year, please let us know.

In addition can I encourage you, if you are able and have not already done so, to download our George Street Normal School free app “Skoolbag” onto your phone, as this is our preferred method of communicating with parents/caregivers in the event of an emergency.   If you require further details with regard to downloading this app, please look on our school website at the newsletter published 20 February 2020.

If you have any questions or concerns at this stage, please contact me directly. 

Yours sincerely

Leanne Stanton

Acting Principal

George Street Normal School

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