Coronavirus – don't panic!
The PPTA, Ministry of Education, and other sector groups are keeping a very close watch on the rapidly changing 2019-nCoV (coronavirus) situation. Advice will be forthcoming should the situation require it.
According to the Ministry of Health, there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in New Zealand to date, but the likelihood of a case is high.
Symptoms include fever, coughing, and difficulty breathing. (Note: difficulty breathing is a sign of possible pneumonia, and requires immediate medical attention.) These symptoms are similar to a range of other illnesses such as influenza, so their presence does not necessarily mean coronavirus is present.
Currently, the Ministry of Education is advising the following:
- As always, anyone who is unwell should not be at school.
- If a student still attends school while showing symptoms, principals can preclude them on the grounds that they may have a communicable disease (Section 19, Education Act). The student must stay away for the infectious period of the specific disease.
- You can request that a staff member with an infectious disease (or one who is suspected of having an infectious disease) does not attend school.
- Any staff member or student who has recently been to China, or has been in close contact with someone confirmed with coronavirus, should stay away from school for 14 days.
If you have a particular concern about any child, student or staff member, please contact Healthline at 0800 611 116 or your GP for medical advice. Healthline has translators and interpreters available 24/7 in 150 languages, including staff who speak Mandarin and Cantonese.
There is more information on the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health websites.