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17.9.2020

Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) is asking the students and staff at Chapel Downs School to get tested after a case was at school on Monday morning, but the vast majority are considered casual contacts. 

An ARPHS spokesperson says a very small number of people are close contacts, and will stay in self-isolation for 14 days until the end of Monday 28 September. 

However, the vast majority of the school are being asked to stay away from others outside the home until they are tested and receive a negative result. The parents and siblings of these school children do not need to stay at home.

While casual contacts are at very low risk of developing COVID-19, Public Health has requested everyone at the school get tested and watch for symptoms. 

Public Health received further information on Tuesday that a child had been at school on Monday 14 September from 8.30am until 9.00am, before they received their positive test result. 

ARPHS investigated this information during Tuesday and Wednesday, and the school community was told Wednesday afternoon that a child with COVID-19 had attended school for 30 minutes.

Understandably some parents may be upset that they did not hear until Wednesday, however this information was shared as soon as events were confirmed on Wednesday.

ARPHS decided to close the school while it investigated the movements of the child and the risk to others. ARPHS also needed to identify any close contacts who are at higher risk and need to be in self-isolation. 

The child who was briefly at school was not symptomatic, but was waiting for results from a COVID-19 test from 13 September. The child left school before children began classes for the day, further reducing the risk to the school community.

ARPHS has liaised with the family closely to communicate the importance of staying in self-isolation. The family has been cooperating with Public Health and members have been tested and have stayed in isolation until this event. 

Please respect the family’s privacy. It is important that during their self-isolation and recovery they get support and understanding.

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