16 March 2020
As most of you will doubtless be aware there has now been a case of the Covid 19 virus in Queenstown and a further in Christchurch. These are the first 2 South Island cases and brings the total in New Zealand to 8 as of Monday morning.
The Queenstown case is a Danish woman who had transited through Auckland and Christchurch. She was isolated on arrival in Queenstown.
This case and all the others appear to be isolated. These are no confirmed cases of person-person spread in New Zealand at this stage.
The Ministries of Education and Health have been working hard and providing regular updates on the virus.
You'll be aware of the numerous travel restrictions and self-isolation measures that are now in place for anyone entering New Zealand as of this morning.
It is expected that New Zealand will see more cases and given our position as a tourist town with a mobile population of its own it is not unlikely Te Anau will see a case.
The situation is changing daily, but as things stand there are no plans to close schools, however it is possible it could come to that as is the case in much of Europe right now.
For now it is largely business as usual with a few precautionary measures:
- Keep children off school if they are unwell with fever or cold like symptoms. Seek medical advice if you have any concerns.
- Please contact the school if you are sharing a house with someone who is self-isolating.
- Avoid very close contact wherever possible (kissing, handshakes, hugging and hongi).
- Regular hand washing - soap and water is the preferred method
- Keep rooms well ventilated
- Seriously consider the need to travel in the current climate - especially abroad or to large gatherings (announcement soon from Government I believe). This might affect the School when it comes to sports or social events.
Finally, we can assure you that we are keeping a close eye on the situation and advice from the relevant Government Ministries, but this is a fast changing field. For the coming weeks we will issue at least weekly updates.
In the interim if you have any questions, please contact the school and we will address them as they arise.
Mary Baigent J MacMillan Armstrong
Mararoa School Principal Mararoa School Board Chairperson