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Anticipating Change: New Zealand Schools Await COVID-19 Measures

A relaxed attitude towards COVID-19 has resulted in increased cases throughout New Zealand. As a result, approximately 75,000 people have contracted the virus, and frequent deaths have become the norm. To mitigate the situation, officials have suggested people continue wearing masks, avoid crowded places, get vaccinated and avoid going outside unless necessary.

With more than 100 deaths being reported every week, it’s safe to say that the pandemic is far from over. According to immunologist Dianne Sika-Paotonu, the evolving variants of the virus are deadlivisaer. Moreover, these variants can result in devastating consequences due to their higher transmissibility.

According to news outlets, aged and immunocompromised people are the most vulnerable to the new deadlier variants. Thus, medical experts await newer government rules to combat the situation. Some of the new measures people expert from the New Zealand government include:

  • Free rapid antigen tests
  • Free masks
  • Expanded access to booster vaccines
  • Stronger mandates to wear masks in school

Schools Eagerly Await New COVID-19 Measures in New Zealand
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The primary focus in the education sector is whether the new measures will allow schools to take countermeasures in case of an outbreak. Despite instructions to keep schools open at all costs, principals across the country have struggled immensely due to staff shortages, COVID outbreaks and winter illnesses.

However, studies show that schools that have made masks compulsory for students have seen lesser COVID outbreaks than those that didn’t. For example, Otautahi school issued a notice for compulsory mask-wearing for students from years 4 to 6. As a result, these students saw lesser COVID-19 infections than those younger than them.

Undoubtedly, the New Zealand government is under pressure to bring back compulsory masks in the upcoming announcements.

  • Ashwini Kumar
  • November 23,2022
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