Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Howick College cleaner tests positive for Covid

A cleaner at Howick College in Auckland’s east has tested positive to Covid but the school is to remain open, saying the risk to students is low.

School principal Iva Ropati told parents in a letter the cleaner was infectious while working at the school in the late afternoon and evening on Wednesday and Thursday between 4-7pm.

However, public health teams have deemed the risk to students and staff as being low/no risk.

“Other cleaners in the school at the time have all returned negative tests,” Ropati said.

“The affected cleaner was only working in the toilet areas of the school, all of which have now been deep cleaned.”

He said the cleaner is fully vaccinated and undertook a Covid test on Friday morning as soon as they experienced symptoms.

Based on advice his team had received, Ropati said that meant the school would reopen as usual on Monday, November 8.

“Basedoninternationalandlocalevidenceandexperience,theriskofCovid-19transmission within school settings is considered low,” Ropati said.

“This means that it is no longer necessary for the school to immediately close when a case has been identified as infectious while at school.”

He asked school families to please get vaccinated as soon as possible if they had not yet done so.

If they have been identified as a contact of the latest case, however, they are asked to wait until their isolation period ends before getting vaccinated, he said.

He also urged anyone with Covid-like symptoms, such as a new cough, sneezing or runny nose, fever, temporary loss of smell, sore throat or shortness of breath, to get tested.

“Less common symptoms of Covid-19 may include diarrhoea, headache, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting,malaise,chestpain,abdominalpain,jointpain,or confusion/irritability,” Ropati said.

“Thesealmost always occur with one or more of the common symptoms.”

“Please stay at home while waiting for test results.”

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