Returning to School in Level 2

School on Monday 18 May for our CHD Children 

This is a worrying time for many of our families as schools are reopening around the country on Monday 18 May. We understand this concern and have had some information from both local Paediatricians and the team at Starship.

One of the South Island Paediatricians commented: 

“There is no safer time to send your child to school or ECE than now. There is no COVID-19 circulating in our community - only 2 cases remain active of 17 in total in South Canterbury for the whole 7 week period. And dozens of tests have been done each day locally for weeks now - nearly all negative. We’ve not had a single child with it in hospital. Indeed we have also not seen any of the usual respiratory infections - no bronchiolitis, no asthma, no croup. One week we only admitted one child. 

So the government is correct in saying it is safe to go to school & ECE in Level 2. This is totally different to the last time in Level 2 when cases numbers were ramping up. Now national numbers are tiny, we are confident there is no widespread community transmission & testing & contact tracing has been vastly ramped up. Over the weekend more than 7000 tests were done each day. 

So I would have no hesitation in sending even higher risk children at this point in time. The situation will be monitored very closely throughout the country for any signs of resurgence.” Dr Mick Goodwin

This response from the paediatrician in Timaru was also sent to Dr Tom Gentles at Starship for comment

Dr Tom Gentles endorsed this and said:

“Community spread is currently non-existent. If this changes there is no evidence to suggest that children as a group are at risk from COVID -19 - quite the opposite in fact. 

There are no confirmed risk factors in children with heart problems, although it is may be reasonable to assume that children who are very unwell because of a heart condition could be compromised if they also had COVID - 19. If the community prevalence increases (and we are all hoping that it will not) then there may be some groups of patients who should consult with their paediatricians. If this is the case we will be in touch with families through Heart Kids.” Dr Tom Gentles

Looking Forward and feeling positive

We know it isn’t our job to tell people what you should or shouldn’t do. We are here to provide information and reassure.  Hopefully the information provided will reassure, however we want to remind you that you need to do what feels right for you and your family.  Please continue to be kind to yourselves.