he pitopito kōrero

He Pitopito Kōrero
COVID-19 update – 30 June 2022

30 June 2022
he pitopito kōrero

He Pitopito Kōrero

COVID-19 update – 30 June 2022

Ahiahi mārie,

As you may have seen this afternoon, the Government has announced that child-sized masks for children in Years 4 to 7 will be available for schools and kura to use at their discretion for learners in Terms 3 and 4 this year. Regular-sized masks are available to students in Year 8 and above.

As with the one-off supply of masks earlier this year, this supply allows you to support parents and whānau who find it difficult to supply their own masks.

The Government also announced that schools will receive a one-off supplementary energy payment. This payment is intended to help you determine what means of ventilation work best for your school over the winter months this year without it resulting in unaffordable heating and energy bills.

Find details on how to order masks and how much you expect your supplementary energy payment to be below.

We’ve also included the latest information from Health on COVID-19 reinfection and a quick heads-up about the initiation of bargaining for primary school principals.

On another note, I’d like to acknowledge the inaugural Tu Meke Tumuaki Week, which will run next week in appreciation of our principals/tumuaki. Ahead of the week (because there is no bulletin next week), I want to acknowledge and thank you for your herculean efforts to successfully lead and manage through the most extraordinary and challenging times.

Mauri ora,

Ordering masks for students

You can order up to 50 masks per student per term or use in Term 3 and 4 (child-sized masks for students in Years 4 to 7; adult-sized for students in Year 8 and above).  Your order will be rounded up to the nearest full carton size (2,000 masks per carton).

Masks are available to order on the Te Mahau website:

Mask supply for schools – Te Mahau

Orders placed today will be delivered for the start of Term 3.

If you have a high proportion of students who have health needs that mean they require more than one mask a day, please contact us to arrange for additional masks at askus.procurement@education.govt.nz.

Winter ventilation: Supplementary energy payment

Schools will receive a one-off supplementary energy payment for winter 2022 before the end of July.

We know that natural ventilation is effective in achieving good air quality in schools: even partially opened windows allow air to circulate. Balancing the need to naturally ventilate teaching spaces, to minimise COVID-19 transmission, and maintaining comfortable temperatures may take some practice as all spaces operate slightly differently.

The one-off supplementary energy payment will allow you to determine what works best for your school over the winter months this year without it resulting in unaffordable heating and energy bills.

For most schools the one-off payment will be equivalent to 5% of your school’s 2022 heat, light and water operational funding allocation, up to a maximum of $4,000 (GST exclusive).

Te Mahau website has more information on heating and ventilation in schools in winter.

Ventilation in schools – Te Mahau

Alternatively, your property advisor is available to provide suggestions on maintaining appropriate levels of heating and ventilation and on improved energy management.

COVID-19 reinfection advice

The Ministry of Health has updated its advice on getting infected again with COVID-19 within 90 days of a previous COVID-19 infection in light of increasing evidence that reinfections can occur earlier than 90 days.

The latest evidence shows that getting COVID-19 again within a short period of time can happen – but it's unclear how common it is. Reinfection is also more likely as new variants spread among the community.

Reinfection advice

  • You are more likely to become reinfected as your immune response from the vaccine or your previous COVID-19 infection decreases over time.
  • If it is 28 days or fewer since the last infectionthere's no need to test.
  • Within 28 days, symptoms are most likely due to lasting effects of the initial infection or a different new respiratory infection. A new COVID-19 infection is difficult to diagnose within 28 days because symptoms, viral levels and test positivity may fluctuate during this time.
  • COVID-19-like symptoms may well be caused by other infections like the common cold, flu or a chest infection.
  • If a person develops new COVID-19 symptoms, and it’s 29 days or more since their previous infection, it’s possible that it’s a reinfection with COVID-19 and they should take a rapid antigen test.  If that test is positive, they will need to isolate for a second time for seven days.
  • As with a first period of isolation the employee should take sick leave if they are ill and be provided with discretionary leave if they recover before the end of the second isolation period.
  • Teachers, principals, and staff covered by the Support Staff in Schools’ Collective Agreement or Kaiārahi i te Reo and Therapists' Collective Agreement are eligible for disregarded sick leave for this second period of isolation for the days which they are sick and are required to isolate. For more information on disregarded sick leave please visit our Managing staff leave due to COVID-19 webpage.
  • For most people, illness caused by reinfection is likely to be no more severe than a first infection, but they can experience different symptoms.
  • If a person is not getting better, or becoming increasingly unwell, they should call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 or their doctor/healthcare provider.

Evidence on reinfections is evolving rapidly. The Ministry of Health is constantly monitoring what’s happening internationally and updating their guidance to ensure it is in line with the latest public health advice.

Updated advice for the public and information for health workers on testing for possible reinfection is on the Ministry of Health website.

Catching COVID-19 again – Ministry of Health

Circular 2022/05: Initiation of bargaining notice for primary school principals

Circular 2022/05 has been published on our website and is about the initiation of bargaining for the renewal of the Primary Principals’ Teachers’ Collective Agreement.

Circular 2022/05: Notice to initiate bargaining – Ministry of Education

Employers must let any employees who may be covered by these collective agreements know about the upcoming bargaining.

Further information on the bargaining is available from the NZSTA.