Information our school has officially received from the Secretary for Education, Iona Holsted that you might find informative and relevant. While there is a lot of discussion and speculation in the media and other sources regarding education during the Covid-19 pandemic, schools are required to follow the direction ofthe Secretary for Education.
Kia ora koutou
Early this week, and again today I have been alerted to social media content that is wrong and unnecessarily upsetting parents and whānau. The gist of the misinformation is that the law passed on 13 May gives powers to Police and others to uplift children from school if they appear unwell and forcibly test for COVID-19, and administer medication including flu vaccinations.
As you already know, neither Police, Oranga Tamariki nor anyone else have been given any such powers. If a child is unwell at your school or kura, you contact their parents or caregivers in the usual way to collect them. If you have concerned parents or whānau, I know you’ll reassure them that there is no change to school practice.
New Public Health Response Order – accurate information
The COVID-19 Public Health Response (Alert level 2) Order 2020 [PDF] came into effect at 12.01am on 14 May. The purpose of the order is “to prevent, and limit the risk of, the outbreak, or spread of COVID-19 by putting in place obligations in relation to businesses and services, and gatherings”.
Schools and early learning services are excluded from the requirements of the Level 2 Order apart from having to have appropriate contact tracing, physical distancing (breathing space), and hygiene measures in place (see our health and safety guidance [MSWord] for details).
The Act that enables the order can be found here: http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2020/0012/latest/whole.html.
As has consistently been advised throughout the COVID response, if you are concerned someone is showing COVID-19 symptoms please send them home and encourage them to seek medical advice through their GP or Healthline. Please contact the Medical Officer of Health for support if there is someone at your school who is refusing to go home, when they are suspected of having a communicable disease such as COVID-19 (see 19 May Bulletin for further details).