STAYING SAFE DURING COVID-19
Even though we are currently at a low alert level,
some whānau are concerned about becoming unwell with COVID-19.
Although Alert Level 1 and Alert Level 2 allow us much more freedom to move around, go to work and kura, some whānau are concerned about becoming unwell with COVID-19, particularly when there are cases of COVID-19 in the community.
Here is some helpful information for whānau who are concerned.
Some whānau are right to be concerned about COVID-19, particularly if you live in a community where there has been community transmission and you have a large family, live inter-generationally (you have kaumātua or elderly whānau members who live with you and your tamariki) or someone in your whānau bubble suffers from a long term medical condition like diabetes, cancer, or heart or lung conditions.
Going to mahi
If you are concerned about leaving your home to go to mahi (for your own health or the health of someone who lives in your whānau bubble) we recommend that if you are able to, you should speak to your employer about whether you can work from home.
If this is not an option and you must go to mahi, here are some practical steps you can take to protect yourself at mahi, and your whānau when you get home.
Consider preparing kai at home and taking it to mahi
Dont share kai, drinks, or utensils like knives, forks, cups or plates.
Keep a 2m physical distance from anyone at your mahi
Wear a face mask when keeping a 2m physical distance is difficult
Avoid crowds of people and anyone who is unwell
Wash your hands regularly with soap or hand sanitiser
Stay home if you are unwell and contact your GP or the Healthline if you have flu-like symptoms
Cough or sneeze into your elbow
When you get home from mahi
Even if your mahi is not considered "essential" work, you can still do the same things that essential workers do when they return home from mahi to ensure your whānau are kept safe and healthy.
Information on what essential workers do when they return home from mahi is available here.
Sending your tamariki to kohanga reo or kura
We understand that some parents are concerned about sending your tamariki to kohanga reo or kura.
You should first kōrero to the kaiako at your kohanga reo or kura, and explain your concerns. Together, you may be able to come up with some practical ways that your tamariki can continue to attend kohanga reo or kura, and also address any concerns you have.
If you are still concerned, and you are able to keep your tamariki at home, we support your decision to do so.
If you do decide to keep your tamariki at home, it's important that you discuss this with your kohanga reo or kura. Particularly if you live within the communities where there has been community transmission and have a large whānau, live inter-generationally or someone in your whānau has a long term medical condition that makes them more at risk to COVID-19.
Tips for talking to your kohanga reo or kura
Every whānau situation is different and it's important that your kohanga reo or kura is given the chance to understand what's happening in your whānau and your reasons for keeping your tamariki at home.
Organise a time to meet, or kōrero, with the kaiako over the phone or in person
If you feel you need support, organise a whānau support person to join you in the hui
Let the kohanga reo or kura know in advance, the purpose of your meeting and that you intend to bring a whānau support person (if you want to)
When you meet or kōrero with your kohanga reo or kura, remain calm at all times
Clearly explain your concerns and why you want to keep your tamariki at home
Provide a clear timeframe of how long you intend to keep your tamariki at home
Ask your kohanga reo or kura to provide you with alternative methods of learning for your tamariki
Set down a date for when you would like to hui again, to ensure that everything is going well for you, your tamariki and your kohanga reo or kura.
If at any time you change your mind and you feel comfortable for your tamariki to return, you should let your kohanga reo or kura know in advance.
The most important thing is to always keep the lines of communication open with your kohanga reo or kura. That way, they know what is happening with your tamariki and they can help to balance the educational needs of your tamariki with the health needs of your whānau.