Update as of 23/03/2020
Update as of 20/03/2020
With so much information and misinformation going around about COVID-19 especially on social media, I wanted to give you an update and share with you what will happen if we were to have a case in our academy community.
As discussed this morning in the meeting, the ban on gatherings of more than 100 people does not apply to: schools, universities, workplaces or public transport.
We have been actively planning for this and are in a position to respond quickly.
• As soon as a case is confirmed in our immediate academy community (eg. a student, staff member, or member of their household), the Medical Officer of Health and Ministry of Education will inform us about this, and we will work together to get quick and clear messaging out to you. That is why it is so important to have your updated details. If you have not updated these with your tutor please do so as soon as possible.
• If there was a case confirmed of someone in our academy, we will likely be asked to close temporarily by the Medical Officer of Health. This will allow time for close contacts to be traced, appropriate testing to be undertaken, and a careful clean of the school to be undertaken.
• If we do need to close temporarily, we have a plan in place to support our student’s learning.
We know COVID-19 feels scary and of course people are concerned for their wellbeing and those of their whanau. Please be assured that with no case confirmed in our Academy, you are safe here.
Good hygiene is a priority at Servilles Academy, and we are reinforcing this regularly with all students and staff. We know that practicing good hygiene is still the best thing we can all do to prevent illness. Wash your hands, don’t touch your face.
We are getting the most up to date advice and guidance so that we can confidently make informed decisions about the safety and wellbeing of our academy.
Letter from Lauren Clark, Academy Director
Update as of 13/03/2020
You may have seen that the World Health Organisation has now declared COVID- 19 to be a pandemic. As noted by the Minister of Health, this doesn’t change what New Zealand is doing to respond to coronavirus.
The Ministry of Health has been working through its pandemic plan since January. You will also know the Government has already implemented a range of measures to minimise the impacts to New Zealand. This includes border restrictions, a requirement to self-isolate on arrival in New Zealand from China, Iran, Italy and the Republic of Korea and immediate and detailed contact tracing of any confirmed cases. It is important to note those four countries account for more than 90% of cases globally and China and the Republic of Korea have significantly declining numbers of new cases.
We have 5 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand and it is pleasing to know they are all doing well and are at home. Their children, four students at Auckland schools, continue to be well and show no symptoms. While we expect that more cases will arise, the Ministry of Health says that with continued vigilance, the chance of widespread community outbreak is expected to remain low in New Zealand. We all have a role to play in this.
For Servilles Academy, our pandemic plan is also ready to be implemented and we will have the pandemic plan on the website in the next few days. In the meantime, we will continue to focus on good hygiene practices. Hand washing and good cough etiquette are very important tools in preventing the spread of illness including colds, flu and COVID-19. Our tutors and other staff will also be ensuring we have the correct contact details for students in case we need to communicate quickly with them outside of course hours.
It is also a good idea to educate yourself from reliable sources. You may have also seen the Prime Minister sat down with Dr Michelle Dickinson (aka Nanogirl) and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, Juliet Gerrard, to talk about coronavirus:
Watch on the PM’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=615164082657847
Read and watch on the Newshub website: https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2020/03/watch-health-experts-join- jacinda-ardern-to-dispel-some-coronavirus-covid-19-myths.html
One other action we can all take is to be vigilant about our own health and the health of our staff and students. We will be encouraging staff to stay away from the academy if they are showing signs of illness such as coughs and colds. We ask that you please do the same. Colds and flus are common in academies and by staying away, seeking medical attention (or contacting Healthline 0800 611 116) and practicing good hygiene, we can all keep any spread of illness to a minimum.
Ministry of Health link which you may find helpful: