Coronavirus: Student at Auckland school 'close contact' of positive case

Henderson North School.
Henderson North School. Photo credit: Google Maps.

A student at a west Auckland school has been identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19, a letter from health officials says.

A letter from Auckland Regional Public Health Service has been uploaded to Henderson North School’s website explaining that a student at the school "has been identified as a close contact of someone diagnosed as having COVID-19".

It says that close contacts are people who may be at a greater risk of catching the illness as "they were near a person with COVID-19 during their infectious period".

The letter - dated September 8 - says the student "was not unwell and was very unlikely to have been infectious with COVID-19 while at school". The individual is now isolating at home and has been tested for COVID-19. They remain well.

"Auckland Regional Public Health Service considers the risk to any other students or staff to be very low and the school remains safe to attend". 

It goes on to list COVID-19 symptoms - such as a sore throat and cough - and tells parents to call a doctor or Healthline if their child is unwell. Students should also not be sent to school if they are sick.

It comes after nearby west Auckland high school - St Dominic's Catholic College - was closed on Tuesday after a student tested positive for the virus. It will remain closed for three days for a deep clean.

"I understand that this may cause some feelings of worry and concern among some families, but I want to reassure you that we are being closely guided by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health," Principal Anna Swann said.

"The only people permitted onsite during this time [while it is closed] are our cleaning contractors."

Swann urged people not to disclose the identity of the infected student or their family and discouraged children from speculating on social media too, fearing it could lead to online bullying and abuse.

There are several other schools nearby. Waitakere College said on Tuesday night that it had been informed about the St Dominic's College case.

"This student does not travel on our shared buses or any public bus". 

It will remain open but asks students and parents to be vigilant. Anyone with a sibling at St Dominic's is asked to stay home and to contact the school.