Last updated – 5 March 2020
Kia ora Playcentre whānau,
Unfortunately, we need to begin the year with advice regarding the rapidly evolving situation concerning the coronavirus.
This is a new virus and its specific nature is currently unclear, however it appears that you can have the virus at an early stage and not be showing any symptoms. This incubation period is currently considered to be up to 14 days.
Tamariki and their families are currently returning to Playcentres. The health of children and adults is a priority for all. We encourage you to err on the side of caution. Here are some steps you can take:
- As always, anyone who is unwell should not be at Playcentre. If you have a particular concern about any child, or adult please urge parents or the adult to contact Healthline at 0800 611 116 or their 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.
- If you have reasonable grounds to believe that any person has an infectious or contagious disease or condition, then you must exclude that person from the service and from coming into contact with children. This is required by Regulation 57 of the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008.
- For anyone who may be at high risk of exposure because they have recently been to China or Iran or have been in close contact with someone confirmed with the virus, we would ask that they delay their return to Playcentre for 14 days and voluntarily stay away.
- Symptoms of coronavirus are similar to a range of other illnesses such as influenza and do not necessarily mean that you have coronavirus. Symptoms include fever, coughing and difficulty breathing.
In the meantime, we can provide you some further facts from the World Health Organization.
- Evidence from China shows that only 1% of reported cases do not have symptoms, and most of those cases develop symptoms within 2 days.
- Young people 18 years and under represent less than 2.4 per cent of those who have contracted the virus.
- From the data we have so far, COVID-19 does not transmit as efficiently as influenza.
It continues to remain that the best thing to do is to practice good preventative measures, particularly good hygiene:
- Washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before and after eating, after helping children blow their noses, as well as after attending the toilet.
- Covering coughs and sneezes with clean tissues or with an elbow. Followed up with washing of the hands, and sometimes arms, for 20 seconds using soap and water.
- Putting used tissues in the bin.
- After assisting in cleaning up a child, you must ensure that you and the child wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.
- Encouraging staff, parents of children and students to stay home if they are unwell.
Coronavirus is now a notifiable disease, this means that if there is a case of this illness within your centre, you need to notify the Public Health Service and the Ministry of Education as soon as possible -please see Injury, Illness and Incidents procedure. For further information, the following websites will be regularly updated as the situation evolves-
Minstry of Health:
Healthline’s dedicated COVID-19 number, 0800 358 5453, is free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Please contact your Regional office if you have any concerns regarding this virus.