Changes to Alert Levels
From 11.59pm Wednesday 7 October, Auckland will join the remainder of New Zealand, and move to Alert Level 1.
While this is good news, COVID-19 will be with us for many months to come. New cases in our communities remain a possibility, as happened with this recent resurgence in Auckland. It is important we avoid complacency and remain vigilant.
Things you need to know about Alert Level 1
Early learning services are open and must operate safely
At Alert Level 1 the disease is contained in New Zealand but not overseas. We need to have systems and practices in place in case COVID-19 reappears in our community.
There are no restrictions on personal movement at Alert Level 1 – all children and staff can be at early learning services
The only people who will need to stay away are:
- those required to self-isolate
- individuals who health authorities have asked to stay away while waiting for a test result (most people will be able to go back to early learning/work while waiting for a result)
- children and staff who are unwell.
Testing remains a crucial component in preventing an outbreak
If a child or staff member is sick, they should stay home. If they have cold or flu symptoms they should call their doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice about getting tested. If recommended to get tested, they should do so.
Early learning services will close for cleaning and contact tracing if there is a confirmed case who was infectious when present
Your local Director of Education will work closely with you and health authorities should this occur. Please contact your local Ministry office if you hear of a confirmed case in your early learning community but haven’t been advised by health officials about this.
You must continue to support contact tracing through the display of QR Code posters, your visitor register and attendance register
If a new case does appear in your community, your contact tracing processes will support the speedy identification of close contacts of the confirmed case. Please encourage your community to check-in using the NZ COVID Tracer App including when they are doing pick-ups and drop offs.
There are no restrictions on numbers at gatherings
Early learning services, like workplaces are not considered to be gatherings. Good hygiene practices continue to be recommended.
Fundamental public health measures continue to apply
- Hand hygiene
- Cough and sneeze etiquette
- Regularly cleaning and disinfecting high touch surfaces.
Face coverings continue to not be required at early learning services or service transport
This includes service vans/transport and charter buses hired by the service to transport children and staff. Anyone who chooses to wear a face covering in any setting should be supported to do so.
Here are two articles from EAP Services Ltd that you may find helpful for your staff and communities:
Sparklers is backed by both science, New Zealand research and wellbeing specialists. Most importantly it's super easy for anyone to pick up and try. Sparklers have a number of resources and tools for: