News reports about the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus are impossible to ignore and a potential cause of anxiety for many parents and carers with children in schools and early learning centres.
While there are no confirmed cases of the coronavirus here in New Zealand, the Ministry of Education is keeping a close eye on the situation and is releasing regular status updates as well as information for parents on how to protect children from contracting the virus.
Current recommendations are as follows:
- If your child is unwell they should not be at their early learning service or school. Please contact Healthline at 0800 611 116 or your GP for medical advice. Healthline has translators and interpreters available 24/7 in 150 languages and they do have Mandarin and Cantonese speaking staff available.
- For a child who may be at high risk of exposure because they have travelled recently to China or have been in close contact with someone confirmed with the virus, consider delaying the start of their school year for 14 days or delay attending their early learning service and voluntarily stay away.
- If your child attends school or an early learning institution while showing symptoms then they may be asked to return home by the Principal of a state school, an early learning service provider or home-based educator.