Covid-19 FAQ

Please note we are not "health experts" but are aware that the Ministry of Health may be delayed in providing advice and guidance.

Key Information for Phase 3 (Red Level Covid Protection Framework)

  • Only confirmed cases and their household contacts who need to self-isolate. Everyone else, including those who may have had close contact with the case but aren’t in the household, must continue to monitor very closely for any symptoms of COVID-19.

  • Rapid antigen tests (RATs) are now being used to diagnose COVID-19 as well as PCR tests. This means that you will get an almost immediate test result back if a RAT is used.

  • If anyone in your family is confirmed as having COVID-19, it is your responsibility to notify your close contacts yourself. Please get in touch with us as soon as you can if your child has tested positive for COVID-19.

  • Transmission of COVID-19 is still most likely to happen in your home – Please keep doing all those good things to keep your whānau safe. Wash your hands, get lots of fresh air, cover any coughs and sneezes, clean surfaces regularly, and seek advice if anyone is not feeling well. And please wear a mask when you are out and about. There is information online to help your family prepare to isolate if you need to.

  • It is no longer a requirement that schools inform people they are contacts of a positive case. As above, if your child is tested positive, it is your responsibility to inform close contact. However, we are looking at how we can keep you informed in a way that is sustainable, especially if cases increase rapidly.

What are the symptoms of Covid-19?

Who do we advise if my child tests positive for Covid-19?

  • Once your child receives a confirmed positive COVID-19 test result, please contact (anytime) or the Office on 09 4129105 (during school hours) as soon as possible. The sooner parents report confirmed positive cases, the quicker we will be able to gather the information we require.

What happens if I tell the school someone in my household has COVID-19?

  • It depends on who in your household has tested positive. Once you or a household member receives a confirmed positive COVID-19 result, please contact (anytime) or the Office on 09 4129105 (during school hours) as soon as possible. Only when a person who attends school is confirmed as positive, do we take action and inform the relevant famil ies of their child’s contact status. However, knowing that a family member is positive gives us a head start in our information gathering process and the team highly appreciates this.

Will you share the details of my child's positive case?

  • Your family's confidentiality and privacy is our priority. At no point will your child’s details be shared with other children or the community. We are required to provide details to the Ministry of Education and we will only involve members of staff on a need to know basis. We store your information securely and privately.

What actions does the school take when there is a positive case?

  • Please click HERE for up to date information

  • We follow a response plan based on the requirements of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health. This process can be seen in the Riverhead School Continuity Plan here.

  • Your child's homeroom teacher/learning area teachers will be in contact with you regarding any learning.

How do we work out who is a Close Contact?

  • We will not be determining who is a Close Contact. All students at school will be considered casual contacts.

  • Please monitor your children for symptoms, there are currently cases in all learning areas of the school.

The school has informed me my child is a Close Contact. What does this mean?

  • At Phase 3 of Red level of the Covid Protection Framework, we will no longer be informing you of Close Contact status.

A member of our household is a Close Contact. Can my child still attend school?

  • Yes, your child is able to attend school, unless they are showing Covid symptoms. If symptoms appear, they will need to isolate and get tested.

We received the letter saying my child is NOT a Close Contact. What do I need to do?

  • Your child can attend school as normal. The normal rules of watching out for symptoms apply in this situation. If any symptoms develop, please get your child tested, keep them at home until they have received a negative result and have been symptom-free for 24 hours.

My child (or a family/household member) has tested positive for Covid-19. What does this mean?

  • The person who is positive will need to isolate for 10 days. Everyone in the household will be considered a Close Contact. The Public Health Unit will guide you further.

I have heard about positive Covid-19 cases in the community. Why has the school not communicated this?

  • The Ministry of Education requirement is that we can only act upon CONFIRMED positive cases of people who attend Riverhead School, and which have been reported to us personally by family or whanau, or the Ministries of Health/Education. Once we have such cases confirmed, we will communicate with the relevant families as soon as possible.

Does the school do a deep-clean after a positive case has been identified as having attended school?

  • Current evidence suggests that catching COVID-19 from surfaces is not common. However, it is still important to clean surfaces to reduce the risk. Each learning areas will be cleaned in line with the Ministry of Health guidelines.

My child is feeling unwell (eg. cough, headache, sore throat etc). Can I still send them to school?

  • If your child displays any of the Covid-19 symptoms, please keep them home. Although these may be attributed to a normal cold or allergies, we highly encourage you to get your child tested. Children must be free from any COVID-19 symptoms for 24 hours before they return to school.

Is it safe to send my child to school?

  • We have robust health and safety measures in place designed to keep everyone as safe and healthy as possible. These have been designed with close guidance from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education. Unless your child has been identified as being Covid positive, is a Close Contact, or is sick, your child must be at school.

What are you doing to keep my child safe?

    • We are following all the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health Health and Safety requirements, which include:

        • Opening all possible windows and doors in learning spaces to ensure good ventilation;

        • All staff members and Year 4-8 Learners are wearing masks (unless exempt). It is highly recommended that Learners in Years 0-3 wear masks as well;

        • Staggering break times and setting specific play areas to minimise contact with other learning spaces as much as possible;

        • Limiting movement between Learning Areas;

        • Stringent sanitisation and cleaning;

        • Social distancing, where possible;

        • Only allowing essential people on site;

        • Eating outside when possible;

        • All staff and essential people onsite are vaccinated.

My child is anxious or scared. What advice do you have?

  • We are providing a fun, fair and safe place for all our learners to be and keeping school as ‘normal’ as possible is part of this. Please reassure your child that their teachers are working hard to make school as safe as can be, and everyone is working together as a team. It’s important discussions are positive and please focus on things that your child finds enjoyable at school. You can also talk about things that can help keep them healthy, such as washing hands and wearing a mask.

Teachers limit any discussions related to COVID-19.

My child needs to isolate at home. What support will school provide around teaching and learning?

  • This will very much depend on how each scenario presents itself, and how many teachers remain healthy. Our main objective is to keep learning going, on-site as much as possible. Our Covid response is built around this and this means that teaching and learning will be fluid and may be offered in different formats. There are 4 main stages and teachers will get in touch to explain which stage of the Learning Delivery Plan will be in place if a learning area has to adapt how it delivers learning.

What welfare support is there for families who need to isolate?

  • The Ministry of Health has a number of ways people can get hep when isolating. If you need extra support, please click here.

Riverhead School's Learning Continuity Plan

Riverhead School - Continuity Plan (community) (5) (1) (1).pdf

*Please note if you are unable to open the above document, please look to the address bar and click "allow pop ups".