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COVID 19 Frequently Asked Questions - UPDATED

Scott Haines —

New Zealand has moved to Phase 3 of the Red setting. See our Frequently Asked Questions section below.

Who can attend school?

  • Students can attend school as long as they do not show any COVID symptoms. 
  • Please keep your teen at home if they are feeling unwell or are symptomatic.

What are the isolation requirements at Phase 3?

  • Only confirmed COVID cases and household contacts of a confirmed case are required to isolate.
  • If you live with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you are considered a household contact and will need to isolate for 7 days. You must get a test on Day 3 and Day 7 of your isolation. If you develop symptoms you should get a test sooner. If you are a household contact and you test positive, you will need to isolate for 7 days.
  • For more information check out the Ministry of Health guidance for household and close contacts
  • Once you have recovered from COVID-19, you will not need to isolate again for 3 months, if someone else in your household tests positive during that time. 

What about Contact Tracing?

  • Phase 3 means that contact tracing both in the community and schools will no longer occur. Cases themselves are now asked to undertake their own investigation to identify close contacts. 
  • Because contact tracing no longer occurs, this means that Waimea College will no longer be able to advise you of who may have come into contact with a COVID case. We will of course continue to provide regular updates. 

What are the symptoms of COVID-19 that I should be monitoring?

  • A new or worsening cough
  • Sneezing and runny nose
  • A fever
  • Temporary loss of smell or altered sense of taste
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath
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Less common symptoms include diarrhoea, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, malaise, chest pain, abdominal pain, joint pain, or confusion/irritability.

For more information, go to https://covid19.govt.nz/health-and-wellbeing/about-covid-19/covid-19-symptoms/(external link)

My teen has tested positive for COVID-19. What do I need to do?

  • Please inform us immediately if your student tests positive for COVID-19. Contact can be made via email to inspire@waimea.school.nz or by phoning 544 6099.
  • We will reach out to support you with your teen's welfare and online distancing learning (if they are able). 
  • You should report the results of your rapid antigen test (RAT) if you test positive or negative. You can do this online through My Covid Record or by calling the helpline 0800 222 478.
  • Everyone who tests positive for COVID-19 and everyone who lives with them  will need to isolate for 7 days from the community to help stop the spread of the virus. 

    Start counting your 7 days from day 0. Day 0 is the day that your symptoms started or the day that you were tested if you do not have any symptoms. See HERE for more information.

  • Review the Ministry of Health's advice for people with COVID-19

Household Contacts

Household contacts are required to isolate for the same 7 days as the positive case.

They can return to their normal activities on the same day as the first positive case in their household, so long as all test results have been negative, and they are not symptomatic.

Household contacts should continue to self-monitor for symptoms.

Household contacts will be required to take a self-administered rapid antigen test (RAT) on Day 3 and Day 7 of the positive case’s isolation period.

If symptoms develop at any time during isolation:

  • the usual advice remains in place to undertake an additional RAT
  • if the test is negative and symptoms persist or worsen, test again 48 hours after that negative test
  • if symptoms resolve there is no need for a further test until the required Day 7 test. If this is negative, they can return to daily life on Day 8.

If a household contact has new symptoms on the day of release:

  • they should undertake an additional RAT and stay at home while unwell
  • if that test is negative and symptoms persist or worsen, test again after 48 hours. If symptoms resolve, there is no need for a further test.

If a household contact has finished their period of isolation they do not need to return to isolation if a new case is identified in their household. However, this only applies for a period of seven days following their leaving isolation.

Should a new household member be confirmed as a case eight or more days after the household contact has left isolation, then they must start a new period of self-isolation for seven days.

What about returning from isolation as a household contact?

  • Currently there is no legal requirement for family members to remain in isolation beyond the initial 7-day period, even if other family members test positive during this period. 
  • To manage this risk, it is important that if the student develops symptoms they stay at home until they are symptom-free and have returned a negative test result. 

What about Household contacts in shared-care arrangements?

A household contact is someone who shares a house or flat with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 (a case).

Ministry of Health advice is that this may be on either a permanent or part-time basis and where the contact has spent at least one night or day (greater than eight hours) in that residence while the case was infectious.

A part-time basis includes instances where someone is part of a shared-care arrangement.

If a teen has spent a day or night in a home where there is a shared-care arrangement, and someone in that home was infectious at the time, they are a household contact.

Are Masks still required?

  • Yes. The public health order requiring mask use for students and staff remains in place. Mask wearing is proving to be highly effective. 
  • As signalled in earlier communications, if your teen is exempt from wearing a face covering, please reach out to us at inspire@waimea.school.nz so that we can support them to stay safe and well without a mask. We request students carry exemption evidence with them.
  • Parents and members of the community are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings while on campus. 

What about Online Learning?

  • Over the coming days and weeks there may be times when teachers are working from home but students are in school, or when some students are working online from home while others are in class.
  • Teachers have already set their classes up for online learning through the Microsoft Teams platform. More information about how the Teams platform works at Waimea College can be found on our school website HERE.
  • A copy of our Online Distance Learning can be found HERE.

My teen is well but isolating at home.

  • We encourage all students to return to school, providing they are well and not a household contact. 
  • If your teen has significant health needs, please reach out to discuss this with us. 
  • Students choosing to self-isolate without good reason, may be marked as an unjustified absence, in accordance with Ministry of Education guidelines.

Have other questions or need help?

Please reach out to us via phone 544 6099 or via email at inspire@waimea.school.nz if you have any questions. 

I hope that this information is useful. Thanks for your support. 

Scott Haines