Coronavirus Update 3

2 February 2020

Tēnā koutou

You will have seen that the Prime Minister has made an announcement this afternoon. https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/new-zealand-restrict-travel-china-protect-against-coronavirus.  It includes the following information concerning all foreign nationals travelling from, or transiting through mainland China:

“The Government is placing temporary entry restrictions into New Zealand on all foreign nationals travelling from, or transiting through mainland China to assist with the containment of the novel coronavirus and to protect New Zealand and the Pacific Islands from the disease. 

This will take effect from tomorrow and will be in place for up to 14 days. This position will be reviewed every 48 hours.

Any foreign travellers who leave or transit through mainland China after 2 February 2020 (NZ time) will be refused entry to New Zealand.

Any foreign travellers in transit to New Zealand on 2 February 2020 will be subject to enhanced screening on arrival but, pending clearance, will be granted entry to New Zealand.

New Zealand citizens and permanent residents returning to New Zealand will still be able to enter, as will their immediate family members, but will be required to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival back in the country.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has also raised its travel advice to New Zealanders for all of mainland China to “Do not travel”, the highest level.”

The Ministry of Education, TEC, and NZQA are working together and we will provide you with information over the next couple of days regarding the Government’s announcement.  In the meantime please contact TEC, NZQA or the Ministry of Education with any questions or concerns.  We will keep our websites updated.

Please continue to refer to the Ministry of Health website for health advice and the latest information:

Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) guidance – Ministry of Health

 

Everyone’s health and wellbeing, including international students’, is important to us.  While there are no confirmed or suspected cases in New Zealand at the moment, the Ministry of Health continues to encourage a precautionary approach and a focus on good hygiene.  Please err on the side of caution and be alert, not alarmed.

 

Thank you for your recent work and support helping our students, parents, staff and providers on this issue, I appreciate the complexity that the current situation causes.  I know you all have the interests of our children and students as your priority.

 

Nāku noa, nā

Iona Holsted

 

Secretary for Education

 

30 January 2020

Novel coronavirus Update 2

30 January 2020
The Novel coronavirus situation is continuing to evolve rapidly.
We will add new information to our website so key information is kept in one place and it is easier for you to see. There is a now a Novel coronavirus page on our website, with the following information added last night:

· Schools with homestay families (scroll down the page)

· Information for school hostels (scroll down the page)

· Information for staffing provisions (linked from the Principals and Tumuaki page)

· Notifiable diseases – noting the Novel coronavirus is now classified as notifiable (scroll down the page)

· Funding and other considerations for early learning services – scroll down to ‘Other useful information’

The Ministry of Health has also updated their health advice with a more narrowed focus on which geographic areas within China are deemed at the most risk for exposure to the infection – these are Wuhan and Hubei province.

For those of you who have not yet contacted students and staff about the Novel coronavirus, please note the following information.

Based on the latest advice from the Ministry of Health, our advice to you has now been amended:

For any staff member or student who has recently been to Wuhan or Hubei province, or has been in close contact with someone confirmed with the virus, we encourage you to ask the staff member or parent/caregiver of the student to delay the start of their school year for 14 days and stay home.

Please keep an eye on our website and the Ministry of Health website for future updates:

Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) – Ministry of Education
Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) guidance – Ministry of Health
    

 

28 January 2020

Novel coronavirus Update 1

The Ministry of Education has updated their statement from yesterday regarding Coronovirus. Here’s their latest statement - the advice given is common sense.

Coronavirus

Tēnā koutou

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 14 days.

Children and young people are currently returning to classrooms. The health of students and staff is a priority for all. I encourage you to err on the side of caution and here are some steps you can take.

As always, anyone who is unwell should not be at school or at their early learning service. If you have a particular concern about any child, student or staff member, please urge parents or the staff member to contact Healthline at 0800 611 116 or their GP for medical advice. Healthline has translators and interpreters available 24/7 in 150 languages and they do have Mandarin and Cantonese speaking staff available.

If a student still attends school while showing symptoms the Principal of a state school can preclude them if they believe on reasonable grounds they may have a communicable disease (Section 19 Education Act). The student has to stay away for the infectious period of the specific disease. For private schools, Section 19 of the Education Act does not apply. Principals can request that a student with an infectious disease or is suspected of having an infectious disease, does not attend.

 

For 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, I encourage you to ask that the staff member or parent/caregiver of the student delay the start of their school year for 14 days and voluntarily stay away.