There were 178 new cases of Covid-19 across New Zealand today and one more death linked to the virus. Video / NZ Herald
All Te Puna School students could now be at risk of contracting Covid-19 after the school’s public health advice was changed.
This comes as another school in Tauranga has confirmed a case of Covid-19. Five schools have now reported positive cases in their school communities – Te Puna School, Mount Monganui Middle School, Aquinas College, Tahtay Coast School and Tauranga Middle School.
It also comes as yesterday the Department of Health reported nine new cases of Covid-19 in the Bay of Plenty District Health Board area, all of which were in the Tauranga area.
Six of the new Tauranga cases were in close contact with them and were already in isolation.
A media statement by the Ministry of Health stated that interviews with the remaining cases are underway to determine the source of their infection.
A case was announced Wednesday in the Eastern Bay of Plenty and is self-isolating and Tūhoe Hauora backed.
After this case was detected, additional examinations were carried out in the area.
“The spread of COVID-19 in Bay of Plenty is another reminder to get tested if you feel unwell and get your first dose of the vaccine if you haven’t already,” the statement said.
A spokesperson for the health department at Te Puna School said initial interviews with positive cases indicated that only students in the same class needed isolation.
However, an additional assessment of the school’s condition indicated that all students could be at risk, and so the advice of the local public health unit has changed.
“Students in the same class as cases need to isolate for 10 days. Other students must isolate until they get a negative smear result.”
There are 270 students in elementary school, according to the Education Review Office.
One parent at Te Puna School, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the initial information they got from the school said “maybe six or seven classes” should all be isolated, and the rest of the school had to watch for symptoms.
“Last night we got information that only the third room and the Māori class need isolation and that everyone is showing symptoms but maybe something has changed.”
The Bay of Plenty Times reported Wednesday that Te Puna School students in rooms one, two, three, four, eight, nine and ten have been identified as close contacts and need to be tested immediately and self-isolate at home. This came from an email sent to parents on Tuesday.
The email said children in rooms 5, 6, 7, 11, 12 and 13 were identified as having casual contacts and were required to self-monitor for symptoms.
Te Bona School Principal Neil Taorsey has been contacted for comment.
Yesterday, Tauranga Middle School confirmed that one student tested positive but was deemed “very low risk” and it was “business as usual”.
Principal Cameron Mitchell said the Department of Health called him yesterday morning saying the student had tested positive.
He said only one home – 10 per cent of the school – was considered “extremely low risk”.
The school was made up of 10 houses and 43 classrooms. Mitchell said the damaged home had four classrooms.
“It’s very much a precautionary measure for a householder to self-isolate at home and be tested,” Mitchell said.
Close contacts of the student were self-isolating at home and being tested.
He said that the length of that process depends on the vaccination status of the contacts.
Vaccinated students can return to school next Wednesday provided they have returned two negative Covid tests.
He said unvaccinated students can return to school the following Monday.
The rest of the school can “absolutely” continue to attend school.
There are excellent structures and support from the ministries of health and education, Mitchell said.
“It’s about following due process and keeping staff and students safe.
“As a result, it will be business as usual for the rest of the school because they are not in close contact and it is a safe environment because of the procedures we have.”
– Pa New World Gate on Sunday November 21 between 6.30 pm and 8 pm
– Z 15th Ave Petrol Station Tauranga on Fifteenth Avenue, Tauranga on Saturday 20 November between 9.55 a.m. and 11.15 a.m.
– Flaveur Bread, Tauranga on Friday 19th November between 1.25pm and 1.50pm
– Chadwick Bakery & Cafe, Gerrton, Friday 19 November between 2.05 and 3.20 pm
– Mr. Webby, Tauranga on Saturday 20th November between 2.05pm and 3.20pm
– Cambridge Heights Food Market, Bethlehem, Saturday 20 November between 3.45 and 5 pm
– Peter Pans Superette, Tauranga, on Tuesday 23rd November between 2.55 and 4.40pm
The new times are:
Unichem Greerton on Friday 19 November between 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM.
Self-monitor for symptoms of Covid-19 for 10 days after exposure in these interesting locations. If symptoms develop, get tested and stay home until you get a negative test result and up to 24 hours after symptoms resolve.
Tauranga and Mt. Munganui Test Centers
• Mount Maunganui Sports Center (corner of Maunganui & Hull Road) – 10am-4pm Tuesday
• Tauranga Racecourse – 10am-4pm, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays
• Tauranga Center (100 First Avenue accessed via a car park next to Noel Leeming on Second Ave) – 8am-4pm Tuesday through Friday
• Baypark (81 Truman Lane, Mount Maunganui) 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
Hay and Hakatan:
• Med Central Portacom, 52B King St, Whakatane – 10am-4pm, Tue-Fri