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COVID Update

Written by Denise Torrey

25-05-2022

Cases and Reasons for compulsory masks

Positive Cases

Monday 16 May - 5

Tuesday 17 May - 4

Wednesday 18 May - 3

Thursday 19 May - 5

Friday 20 May - 0

Monday 23 May - 6

Tuesday 24 May - 0

Wednesday 25 May - 2

Thursday 26 May- 1

Information shared by the Board of Trustees last Friday

Masks are now compulsory for children from Year 4 to Year 6, and for all staff, and visitors to the school, except for those with a valid and current mask exemption.

  • Cantabrians have been asked by the CDHB to remain vigilant and continue to keep up their healthy habits as new COVID-19 cases in the region continue to top more than 1000 per day. We are seeing this trend reflected in the number of cases at school.

  • Over winter, respiratory illnesses are expected to increase further, including COVID-19, RSV and flu. At the same time, tamariki will spend relatively more times indoors at school.

  • In the Somerfield area, 71% of 5-11 year olds have received one vaccination dose, and 41% two doses. This is a lower level of vaccine protection than in the general (adult) community. Additional protection for tamariki comes from other safety measures such as ventilation and mask use.

  • A number of our tamariki and staff are vulnerable to COVID-19, or live with or come into contact with people who are vulnerable.

  • Masks at school are strongly encouraged by the Government under the Orange setting.

  • 150 New Zealand scientists and health professionals have signed an open letter to the Government calling on it to reinstate the school mask mandate, based on the public health benefits of compulsory mask use in schools.

The Board has decided against a general vaccination requirement for staff and volunteers. The Board’s position will be kept under active review, for example if new variants emerge. In addition, on a case by case basis, vaccination certificates (or a negative RAT test) for parent volunteers may be required for a limited number of events or activities, where justified by a health and safety assessment for the event or activity. Of course, access to the school by tamariki for education will not be affected, and will be ensured regardless of vaccination status.

Thank you for your continued support with the important safety measures we have in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 at school.

Ngā mihi nui,

Stephanie Muller
Chairperson, Somerfield Te Kura Wairepo Board of Trustees
chair@somerfield.school.nz