Papatoetoe High School principal 'disappointed' at news of latest Covid-19 case linked to school

Papatoetoe High School's principal is "disappointed" at the news of another Covid-19 case linked to his school.

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Vaughan Couillault spoke to 1 NEWS shortly after the Ministry of Health confirmed the latest case. Source: 1 NEWS

Vaughan Couillault spoke to 1 NEWS shortly after the Ministry of Health confirmed the latest case today.

"We're disappointed, but we’ve just got to rewind and do it all again," he said.

"I just had a Zoom with all the students and said I thought we were one-nil up in the last minute of the match and someone snuck a sneaky goal in and now we’re bouncing into extra time and have to go again.

"So we’re mobilising testing staff on site and, yes, there are issues around consent but we are working through that."

The school had only just reopened and now has to shut its doors again amidst another round of testing.

Students are currently at the school until about 3.30pm, and Couillault asked parents to give them a "little breathing space" while they worked out their next steps.

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said the case was picked up through the testing that all staff and students were required to undergo before returning to school.

All students, teachers and some members of these two groups' households are asked to be re-tested.

Wastewater testing in the Papatoetoe region continues to return negative results, Hipkins said.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the student lives in a household of six people, including one sibling that also attends Papatoetoe High School. The household is being tested today.

Bloomfield said that sibling had also not been attending school. Papatoetoe High School shut last week in response to the initial cases, and had only re-opened yesterday to those who tested negative.

He said the Ministry of Health became aware of the test result this morning after the student was tested in a community testing facility.

The student reported feeling muscle aches and pains, as well as a loss of smell and taste.

Health staff are interviewing the latest case. Locations of interest for contact tracing will be released later this afternoon, he said.

Whole genome sequencing is underway for today’s case.