Omicron Management Plan update: 25 March

25 Mar Omicron Management Plan update: 25 March

Over this week we have averaged 25% of our students away, which is approximately 220 of our students absent each day for a range of reasons. It is challenging for our staff juggling the needs of those they teach in person and those learning from home, and it is also hard on our students who are accessing learning from home as best as they are able, depending on their individual circumstances. We currently have 101 students who are at home isolating due to having tested positive for Covid. We have now had 129 students return to the College after completing their isolation period and having no symptoms. So overall we have had 230 students with Covid, which is 28% of the roll. We appreciate that it is a challenging time for so many in our community and we look forward to the healthy return of those currently away. We hope that the Teacher Only Day today is a welcome break for all students, and that the additional rostering home of Year 12 and 13 students has been beneficial. We are not intending to roster home Years 7-9 students to minimise disruption for families and the students themselves.

The Ministry of Health has provided further clarity on when household contacts should isolate.

What does it mean if I am a household contact? – Ministry of Health
For households where someone has Covid-19, the Ministry of Health recommends you apply the following guidance.
• If someone becomes a confirmed Covid-19 case, then that case and all other people in their household must isolate for seven days.
• If someone else in the household then tests positive for Covid19 during those seven days:
o the isolation period for that person only re-sets – that person must isolate for an additional seven days from the day they test positive or symptoms begin
o other household contacts who do not test positive are still able to leave isolation after the original case has completed their seven days isolation.
• For the next 10 days after a household completes seven days isolation, evidence shows that due to their exposure to COVID-19 they are less likely to catch or transmit the virus This means:
o if someone else in the household tests positive within those 10 days, the whole household will not have to re-isolate, only the positive case
o if someone else in the household tests positive and it has been more than 10 days since the household completed isolation, household contacts should re-isolate along with the new case for seven days.
• Any person who has had COVID-19 within the last 90 days/three months will not need to isolate as a household contact unless they become symptomatic and test positive again. This is because reinfection rates for people who have had COVID-19 are low for the three months after they have the virus.
Remember, Day 0 for isolation is the day symptoms began or the day the positive test was taken (whichever came first). You should then count your seven days from there.

This week our staff absence rate has climbed, and this is stretching our capacity to maintain face to face teaching in all classes. Ms Brosnahan emailed families on Tuesday advising we were shifting to the ‘Orange phase’ of our College Omicron Management Plan. We will be rostering Year 10-13 students home on a rolling basis for the remainder of this Term. Students are welcome to be able to work at the College if they need to on days when their Year level is rostered home. (Please see graphic below for days when the students are rostered home).