Six Waikato schools have Covid-19 cases less than a week after first day back –

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Six Waikato schools are reporting cases of Covid-19 less than a week after students returned for the year.
A Bay of Plenty school has also closed its doors for a week, after a student tested positive and a school bus ride resulted in close contacts across the school.
This comes after Hamilton West School, Hamilton Christian School, Melville Intermediate, Rototuna Junior High School, Hamilton Boys’ High School, and Te Totara Primary reported cases of Covid-19 over the long weekend.
Late Monday night, Hamilton West School reported two Covid-19 cases within the school community and warned parents of close contacts to keep their children at home.
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“We are in the process of contacting close contacts to the cases and they will be self-isolating at home from tomorrow and not attending school,” Hamilton West School said on social media.
Pongakawa School in Bay of Plenty moved to online learning after a student tested positive for Covid-19 and students across the school were classified as close contacts after a school bus run.
The student had been at school from February 1, and students on the Pukehina Bus on February 1 were considered close contacts, a notice from Craig Haggo said.
The instruction to close came from the Medical Officer of Health and the Director of Education Bay of Plenty, he said.
“It is felt there are too many variables involved here, including a bus run with students from a cross the school classified as close contacts.”
It’s hoped the school will reopen on February 14.
It had been “a full on last three days” but Haggo thanked the school community for “lovely texts, emails and calls”, and also the pupil’s family for moving fast.
Back in Hamilton, Maeroa Intermediate School had “a few students” classed as close contacts, but no positive cases. Close contacts needed a negative test before returning to school.
Stuff has previously reported on several other Hamilton schools affected by the latest wave of Covid.
All 80 of Hamilton Christian School’s Year 7 students were considered close contacts, principal Shaun Brooker said, which meant they would all be doing online school in isolation.
Their household members were classed as secondary contacts, he said. And because the school taught students from year one to 13, there was a big sibling crossover.
Rototuna Junior High School principal Fraser Hill said, in an email to parents, there was a confirmed case of Covid-19 in the school community.
“The person who tested positive was at school from Tuesday, February 1 to Wednesday, February 2.”
Another confirmed case was in the Melville Intermediate School community, and principal David Cooke found out from the Ministry of Health on Saturday evening.
The student was in a class of 22, Cooke said. All were considered close contacts, as were four staff members.
Parents at Hamilton Boys’ High School were emailed on Monday about a confirmed case of Covid-19.
A Year 11 student had tested positive on Sunday afternoon, headmaster Susan Hassall wrote.
The student attended school on Thursday, the first day of school, but stayed home on Friday.
Te Totara Primary announced on Monday afternoon that a pupil had tested positive for Covid-19 after attending school from February 2.
All pupils and staff involved with the junior classroom were close contacts and had been contacted by the school.
This follows news of earlier Covid cases linked to three other Waikato schools.
St Paul’s Collegiate School confirmed on Thursday that 12 students tested positive after the three-day camp at Tihoi, on the western side of Lake Taupō.
On Tuesday, Melville High School confirmed one of its teachers tested positive with Covid-19. In a statement on social media, the school said there were only five close contacts, who immediately isolated.
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