Papatoetoe High School likely closed for rest of the week – principal

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Papatoetoe High School principal Vaughan Couillault says although there are three new cases of Covid-19 linked to the school, he’s hoping it will be able to open again on Monday.

Security ramps up ahead of Covid-19 testing at Papatoetoe High School on 23 February.

Photo: RNZ / Simon Rogers

Yesterday the Ministry of Health announced three new cases of Covid-19 link to the school.

Couillault told Morning Report a number of staff have already returned negative Covid-19 results following a large testing blitz last night.

Students who weren’t tested last night were turning up this morning to do so, he said.

But he said in the last round of testing there were some families consciously choosing not to test but choosing to isolate for 14 days, and there may be some again this time.

“That is, of course, their prerogative.”

He said it’s a high trust model regarding isolation and the school is in open communication with the families involved.

He hasn’t yet made contact with the latest family to test positive as they were taken into quarantine.

The family was difficult to contact following the first positive cases appearing in the school community but Couillault says everyone has a story to tell and what the family has told them was quite reasonable.

Security ramps up ahead of Covid-19 testing at Papatoetoe High School on 23 February.

Papatoetoe High School principal Vaughan Couillault.
Photo: RNZ / Simon Rogers

As none of the new cases had been on the school grounds, the number of close contacts at the school hasn’t expanded, he said.

Once everyone returns a negative test, a cleaning crew will return to the school.

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