We received further information from the Ministry of Education on the weekend. This is detailed later in the newsletter. A reminder that everybody should follow the following basic principles to reduce the risk of getting an acute respiratory infection or passing it on to others:
regularly washing hands (for at least 20 seconds with warm water and soap and dry thoroughly)
covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze
staying home if you are sick avoiding close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms
if you feel unwell you should avoid public gatherings and events
cleaning surfaces regularly (when infection is suspected).
Coronavirus Information from the Ministry of Education
COVID-19 – The facts
Because COVID-19 is a new virus, it was always going to take time to understand how it is transmitted and who might be most impacted. While the scientists and health authorities have been quickly gathering and sharing the information they do have, there has been very unhelpful and inaccurate information shared about COVID-19, particularly through social media.
This misinformation has supported unreasonable levels of fear and worry in some parts of our communities, evidenced recently in New Zealand by some panic-buying of toilet paper, hand sanitiser and bottled water.
Scientists are working collectively and globally to quickly understand COVID-19. There has also been some significant research published recently by the World Health Organisation-China Joint Mission. So what we now know about COVID-19 is:
At this time the vast majority of people in New Zealand have no risk of exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19.
Children and young people under 18 account for only 2.4% of all reported cases of COVID-19 – this means we are unlikely to see widespread cases in schools and early learning services.
New Zealand currently has very few cases of COVID-19 and no evidence of sustained person-toperson transmission in our communities.
Although asymptomatic infection (people with no symptoms) has been reported, there is emerging evidence that this is rare and not a major driver in spreading the infection.
Spread happens through coughing and sneezing by someone confirmed with COVID-19 – similar to the way that influenza spreads.
“COVID-19 does not transmit as efficiently as influenza, from the data we have so far. With influenza, people who are infected but not yet sick are major drivers of transmission which does not appear to be the case for COVID-19” - Director General of World Health Organisation (WHO).
A reminder that the Ministry of Health is working closely with the World Health Organisation and providing information to the MOE who are passing this on to schools.
Be informed - keep checking the information on the Health website and our website for education specific information
Plan for what could happen in the future (through your Pandemic Plan) – our website has useful information to assist with this
If someone is sick Encourage them to seek medical attention. If anyone has symptoms and has recently been to a country or area of concern, or have been in close contact with someone confirmed with COVID-19, please contact
Healthline (for free) on 0800 358 5453 (or +64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs) or your doctor immediately.