Covid-19 Update for Amesbury School

By Urs Cunningham | Posted: Thursday March 10, 2022

The period of isolation for people testing positive for Covid-19 and for people isolating due to being a household contact has reduced from 10 days to 7 days as at midnight on Friday 11 March. This article explains what that means for us.

Useful links and numbers

Healthline: 0800 358 5453

If you test positive for Covid-19

If you are a household contact of someone with Covid-19

What the change in isolation length means for us

If you test positive for Covid-19, the first day you test positive or you start showing symptoms is day zero (please note, this is NOT day 1). You must then isolate for 7 days after day zero. Please do not return to school/work on day 7 - you must isolate for 7 full days, and then you can return to school/work the following day. If you want to check when your isolation period ends, use the useful tool on this page for calculating isolation periods.

- Once you have tested positive for Covid, you do not need to show a negative test before leaving isolation. You must isolate for seven days, remembering that the first day you showed symptoms or tested positive is day zero. After seven days, if you are not experiencing any symptoms, you can leave isolation. If you are still feeling unwell or showing symptoms, wait until your symptoms have ended before leaving isolation.

- If you are a household contact of someone who has tested positive for Covid, you must isolate for seven days, and test yourself on day 3 and day 7. If both of these tests are negative, you can leave isolation after 7 days (not on day 7) and return to school/work. If you begin to show symptoms or you test positive during your isolation, you must then isolate for 7 days from when you first showed symptoms or tested positive, whichever was first. 

- If you were already in isolation before the new change came into effect, you can also follow the new rules from Saturday 12th March. For example, if you tested positive on Tuesday 8th March, that is day zero for you. You must isolate until the end of Tuesday 15th March, and you can leave isolation and return to school/work on Wednesday 16th.

Keep in touch with us

If your child is currently at home, either because they are sick, isolating, or being precautionary, please stay in touch with Rachel in the office or with your child’s whānau teacher. Once they are ready to return to school, please let us know before returning. This will allow us to know your child’s situation and ensure that we can support them in their return, and also check that dates and length of isolation are all aligned.

As a side point, if you are coming onto school site for any reason, please ensure you sign in at school, even if it is a quick visit to pick up learning resources or pick up your child. We do need a record that you have been on school site. We have been accepting parents either scanning the QR code or manually signing in on the school Vistab system as a way of signing into school. We understand that people are now scanning in less on the Covid QR code. If you are no longer scanning in, it is important that you sign in with Vistab - either way, we need a record that you were on school site. Thanks for your help with this.

Covid cases at Amesbury

We currently have quite a high ratio of absence at school, and much of this is due to an abundance of caution from families who are concerned about the Covid outbreak. Whilst we do understand this caution, we would like to reassure whānau that our numbers of Covid cases currently at school are low, even though it may feel as though there have been a few case notifications lately. We have currently 7 cases of Covid amongst our 283 ākonga (students), and 3 current cases of Covid amongst our 30 staff members.

One pattern we have noticed thus far is that confirmed cases of Covid at school do not appear to be seeding further cases at school - we are not seeing a spread of Covid in groups or areas where there are single cases. Of the 7 student cases so far, 3 are in Koru Hub, one is in Harakeke Hub, and three are in Pōhutukawa Hub. Of the three Pōhutukawa cases, two cases were already in isolation due to a household case of Covid, and they became infected whilst in isolation at home. This is also the case for one of the three Koru cases. We are not seeing friends and close peers of confirmed cases at school become infected with Covid.

This tells us that the systems we have in place at school are keeping ākonga safe. Mask wearing by all staff and older students, daily cleaning of learning spaces and high touch areas, consistent use of sanitiser, going outside when we can, and physically distancing where possible are all contributing to keeping ākonga safe. We strongly encourage our tamariki to return to school as soon as they are able to do so, as it is best for their learning and their social and emotional wellbeing to be at school and be socialising and learning with other tamariki.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our amazing staff for working so well and collaboratively together. Covid has impacted our staff in the ways you would expect - staff needing to isolate due to household contacts, or due to sickness. Our staff have been incredibly flexible and thoughtful in ensuring all teams have enough kaiako (teachers) in each area to ensure the learning and wellbeing of students is well covered. Staff who are isolating at home have worked hard offsite to ensure teaching and learning can happen from anywhere. Our admin and support team are working tirelessly to ensure everything stays running smoothly and working well. Our ākonga are lucky to have such a hard working, dedicated and flexible team.

Take care look and after yourselves and each other. Ngā mihi, Urs