News / Notices

COVID-19 update: Friday 15 October

Kia ora koutou

There were a number of announcements from the Government in the last week that will affect how we operate in the future and I need to share these with you in this communication. It is pleasing to see the response by most New Zealanders to this latest COVID outbreak with high rates of testing and more and more people getting vaccinated.

If we were to have a case of COVID-19 in our school in the future, public health authorities will want to know if we are a school with a high vaccination rate. This information will then be used as part of the local health authority’s risk assessment. The more highly vaccinated we are (staff and eligible students ie students aged 12+), the less likely it will be that we will have to close down for a long period of time, or we might not need to close at all. We are also doing our part by working toward all our staff being vaccinated.

 We will therefore need to know if your child has had their first or second vaccine dose or is exempted from being vaccinated. This information will be held by us in accordance with the Privacy Act and will only be shared with public health authorities. We are therefore getting our data collection system in place and I will get in touch with you again very soon. 

As of 7 October, more than 5.7 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine have now been given in New Zealand:

  • 53 percent are fully vaccinated (2 doses) = 2.2 million New Zealanders
  • 81 percent have had their first dose = 3.4 million New Zealanders
  • 86 percent of Aucklanders have had their first dose
  • 61percent of Aucklanders have had their second dose

 As of 3 October 2021, 86 percent of Pacific Peoples and 90 percent of Māori aged 65 and over had received their first dose (compared with 93 percent of non-Māori and Non-Pacific) and our average daily numbers for Māori getting their first dose have increased by 69 percent in the last fortnight.

 While the signs are really pleasing, clearly the job isn’t done. The two best things we can to do keep our community as safe as possible is to get tested if we are feeling unwell and get everyone who is eligible, vaccinated.

The second announcement from the government is that all staff members who work in schools and workers who may have contact with students will be required to have a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by 15 November 2021 and be fully vaccinated by 1 January 2022. This public health order includes all school staff and also applies to any visitors to site including contractors, sports coaches, cleaners, volunteers (including parent volunteers) and any members of the community who are on site at the school. The vaccination requirement does not apply to parents or whānau undertaking student pick-ups and drop-offs, but these should be conducted in an outdoor environment where face coverings must be worn, and physical distancing measures retained.

Thirdly, please note that face coverings are now required to be worn on school transport as well as public transport for all students in years 9 – 13.

Fourthly, the restrictions on gatherings at alert level 2 will mean that some of our normal end of year activities will not be running and some will have a different form. I will provide more advice in relation to these activities next week.

Finally, you may be aware that Super Saturday is happening this weekend, our national day of action to get more people vaccinated. With summer rapidly approaching, the Government is working hard to get everyone to have their first vaccine dose now. We encourage you to support the national day of action this Saturday 16 October and think about what you can do as an individual to help others be vaccinated.

Find more information on the Unite Against COVID-19 website.

I look forward to seeing all of our junior students (years 9 & 10) back at school on Monday for our final term of the year. A reminder that senior students (years 11 to 13) will be having derived grade exams next week and will only be required to be at school when they have an examination scheduled.

Ngā mihi nui

Dominic Killalea