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Preparing for Alert Level 2

posted 7 May 2020, 16:53 by Debbie Stevens
Kia ora koutou

Like me, I am sure you have followed with great interest the announcements made by the Prime Minister and the Director-General of Health.

It is reassuring to hear how well our country has done at minimising the impacts of COVID-19. Alert Levels 4 and 3 have not been easy and I thank you for your ongoing support for the work we are doing.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister advised that in Alert Level 2 schools are safe environments for young people and staff and that additional public health control measures are in place to prevent the spread of disease and to support contact tracing.

The exciting news is that when we are able to, we will be ready to welcome all students and staff back to our school site.

The key public health approach is to minimise the risk that someone gets infected in the first place, and also to ensure we can identify and contact anyone who has been in close contact with a person, if someone in a school is infected.

As we have done in Alert Level 3, you can be assured that in Alert Level 2 we will know who is at school, who our staff and students have been in close contact with, and appropriate measures will be taken to keep everyone safe.

Physical distancing is a good precaution to prevent the spread of disease. We do however know it is challenging in schools, so good hygiene practices and regular cleaning are even more important here. This includes staff and students coughing into their elbows, handwashing and drying and regular cleaning of commonly touched surfaces.

Under Alert Level 2, we advise any students and staff to stay at home if they are sick, and we will send anyone home immediately if they show any symptoms. 

Our school has safe and sensible practices to maintain the health and safety of everyone on the school site. As described by Dr Payinda in his NZ Herald article, “Covid's not measles or chickenpox, it doesn't hang in the air for hours waiting to infect passers-by. It travels on invisible drops of spit. You don't have to cross the street to avoid anyone. Just avoid getting in their 'moist breath' zone”. We all just need to remember to have some breathing space at Alert Level 2.

It’s important however that not just at school but at home, safe hygiene habits are practised by everyone, as this is essential to minimise the risk that someone gets infected with Covid-19.

For more information about the public health measures at Alert Level 2, you can visit the website.

As we start planning for the country moving to Alert Level 2, we need to ensure that we have accurate records on how EVERY student travels to/from school. This includes bus records. It is important to have this information for COVID-19 contact tracing purposes and is a Ministry requirement. Please complete THIS SURVEY for EACH daughter you have at WDSG by 5.00pm, Tuesday 12 May 2020. If you have a daughter who might be vulnerable to serious illness and would like to discuss a plan for them, please contact me ASAP.

We will be in touch again soon to update you on our plans - once we have a clearer direction from the Government regarding timings.

Ngā mihi 

Mary Curran