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Coronavirus: What you need to know about schools

Advice will be updated as the situation continues to change, and the Government announces more restrictions.

Source: 1 NEWS

As Covid-19 continues to infect more people across the globe and the death toll rises, daily announcements of shutdowns at the border, of businesses and public gatherings are becoming the norm.

Among those shutdowns are schools and universities.

March 24 update:

All schools will be closed from today except for the children of essential workers such as doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers and police.

From Thursday they will be closed entirely.

Earlier: Here is some information on what’s currently happening or what could happen in the coming weeks.

As it stands on March 19, with no community outbreak New Zealand’s schools are currently still open and parents are being told to send their children to school.

The Ministry of Education has released guidelines for school assemblies and camps in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic.

It advises that people need to keep 1.5m apart during assemblies and 2m for those who are immune compromised.

Read more here
Coronavirus: Advice for staying home when required

Education Minister Chris Hipkins has asked school to consider not holding assemblies at all, but says school is still a safe place for children and New Zealand is a long way from shutting the school doors. 

In an interview with RNZ on possible school closures, the Ministry of Education’s deputy secretary Katrina Casey said there was “no rational reason at this time why children and young people should not be in education”.

However, school closures aren’t being ruled out and the Ministry is assessing school resources to see how education providers can cope with sending their students home.

Schools around the country are also preparing to close if the Government issues a nationwide shutdown of schools and universities.

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The student who’s tested positive is from Logan Park High School. Source: 1 NEWS

If a school as a suspected case, like that of Logan Park High School in Dunedin where one of its students has the virus, the school will be shut for 48 hours.

But for now while there is no community spread of the virus schools will remain open for the rest of the term.