Dr Amanda Kvalsvig, Prof Michael Baker, Dr Jennifer Summers, Dr Lucy Telfar Barnard, Dr Andrew Dickson, Dr Julie Bennett, Carmen Timu-Parata, Prof Nick Wilson
Kvalsvig A, Baker M, Summers J, Telfar Barnard L, Dickson A, Bennett J, Timu-Parata C, Wilson N. The urgent need for a Covid-19 Action Plan for Schools in Aotearoa New Zealand. Public Health Expert Blog. 20 May 2022. https://blogs.otago.ac.nz/pubhealthexpert/the-urgent-need-for-a-covid-19-action-plan-for-schools-in-aotearoa-new-zealand/
At the onset of the Omicron outbreak in Aotearoa New Zealand (NZ) in early 2022, the Government announced a policy for schools that was essentially a business-as-usual approach, advising that schools would stay open through the outbreak. However, protections to prevent Covid-19 transmission were incomplete and there have been significant adverse consequences for school communities. NZ’s pandemic policy for schools needs to pivot to a whānau-centred approach that takes in-school transmission seriously. As winter arrives, NZ should urgently introduce a Covid-19 Action Plan for Schools to support children’s access to education and to protect children, school staff, and their families from Covid-19 and from the return of other winter respiratory infections.