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Dear Parents/Caregivers

You may well have seen the headlines in the media about the numbers of cases being seen in schools. Please don’t be alarmed by this. It is only natural as cases in our community increase, they will appear in our school. We have really good systems in place to respond to this and to keep any spread of the virus – should it appear – to a minimum. 

I am really pleased to note the very high attendance level and excellent compliance with safety protocols. Thank you for your support from home that has made the start to the year so successful.

You may have seen Dr Jin Russell in the media noting research from New South Wales about their recent Omicron outbreak showing that spread within the school setting is very low (less than 4% of cases at school infected someone else when at school). We have seen that in New Zealand too. 

This is why we remain open at Red and our health and safety protocols at school continue unchanged. It’s great for a child’s wellbeing and learning to be at school with their friends and school staff, and we have very good systems in place to keep everyone as safe as possible. 

Your job remains the same, too: please continue to keep a really close watch of your whānau for anyone with symptoms. If unwell, please stay at home and get advice about getting a COVID-19 test. 

With Phase 3 of the Omicron response, the key change is that it is only confirmed cases and their household contacts who need to self-isolate. The isolation period will be 10 days. All other contacts of COVID-positive people are not required to isolate, but they will need to monitor for symptoms. Rapid antigen tests will become the primary testing method. 

Rapid antigen tests (RATs) are now being used to diagnose COVID-19 as well as PCR tests. This means that you will get an almost immediate test result back if a RAT is used. 

If anyone in your family is confirmed as having COVID-19, you will be asked to notify your close contacts yourself. Please get in touch with us – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as soon as you can if your child or any household member has tested positive for COVID-19.

Transmission of COVID-19 is still most likely to happen in your home – so please keep doing all those good things to keep your whānau safe. Wash your hands, get lots of fresh air, cover any coughs and sneezes, clean surfaces regularly, and seek advice if anyone is not feeling well. And please wear a mask when you are out and about. There is information online to help your family prepare to isolate if you need to. 

If you have any concerns about sending your child to school, please do get in touch with myself, Kate Deane or Steve Harper-Travers. We are here to help.

Kind Regards

Mark Keenan