Not the news any of us wanted or expected but we’re back to Alert Level 2 from noon Wednesday.
I’ll update you with more detail first thing tomorrow but for now it’s worth noting that school is open tomorrow.
As a reminder, Alert Level 2 for schools looks like this (from the MOE at 10pm)
- All children and young people can continue to attend their early learning and school site for on learning at Alert Level 2.
- Public health advice is that schools, early learning services and tertiary institutions are safe to open onsite at Alert Level 2 to all learners. People do not need to return to bubbles at Alert Level 2 and can meet with friends and family. But people need to play it safe and continue to take sensible health and safety precautions.
- At Level 2, almost all children and young people can continue to attend early learning services, schools and kura onsite. The only exceptions are children or young people who are sick and have any COVID-19 symptoms, are in isolation, or are awaiting the result of a test. with learning support needs where they are required to remain at home.
- Playground, sports equipment use and sports, including contact sports, remain available at Alert Level 2. School transport services remain at normal schedules. The ongoing safety of drivers and students and the ability to contact trace will be a priority at Alert Level 2.
- Residential Special Schools, Day Special Schools and satellite units are all open at Alert Level 2. Playcentres and playgroups can also continue to meet, provided the public health measures for early learning services are in place. School hostels remain open at Level 2, and OSCAR, along with other before and after school programmes, remain operating.
- Public health advice, based on experience in New Zealand and overseas with COVID-19 over many months, shows that it does not infect or affect children and teens in the same way it does adults. Children and teens have low infection rates, they don’t become that unwell if they do get infected, and they don’t tend to pass the virus on to adults.
- Two key public health principles support our education approach to Alert Level 2. These are to minimise the risk that someone gets infected in the first place, and to ensure we can identify and contact anyone who has been in close contact, if someone in an education institution is infected.
- Strong public health control measures will be in place in all education institutions, including learners and staff staying home if they are sick, contact tracing, and safe hygiene requirements. If a school or early learning service has a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19, they may be advised by health to close for 72 hours to allow contact tracing, and then potentially for a further 14 days.
- Alert Level 2 is all about being safe and sensible and this is the approach that goes through our guidance to schools and services. So physical distancing will remain important in schools where possible.