The principal of an Auckland high school where a teacher tested positive for Covid-19 has thanked her colleague for getting tested early, and offered her support to the wider school community during "a very worrying time".
The school community had responded quickly to the health advice given after all staff and students were declared close contacts following the teacher's positive result, Avondale College principal Lyndy Watkinson said in a statement this afternoon.
Avondale College is the third largest high school in the country, with about 2800 students between the ages of 12 and 18.
A 25-year-old teacher from the school tested positive yesterday after her flatmate contracted the virus from a co-worker.
Five more people linked to the school had also tested positive, director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said during this afternoon's 1pm press conference.
They are part of one family group, he said.
The teacher was at school for two days last week and on Monday this week when she was infectious.
All students and staff were told to get tested and self-isolate for 14 days, even if the rest of the country moved out of level 4 lockdown.
Her school community has responded quickly to the health advice from Auckland Regional Public Health Service, Watkinson said.
The school was working closely with the service and the Ministry of Health, following all advice given, sharing that information with the school community and encouraging anyone with health-related concerns to contact Healthline or go to the Ministry of Health website, she said.
"Testing stations have been very busy around Avondale and West Auckland over the last two days. We are all considered close contacts so the main advice is to stay home and get tested.
"We know that the virus is the problem, not the people. The way forward is for us to continue to work as a community, both to follow the public health guidelines for alert level 4 and also to support each other."
The focus "for these few days" was on looking after each other and making sure students and teachers were well supported, Watkinson said.
Distance learning would begin next week.
"We understand that it's a very worrying time but are thankful that our school community is characterised by atawhai and care for one another.
"We are very grateful for the many messages of support, and for the offers of help. We have an amazing school community who I know will work together as we manage the challenging situation that we find ourselves in.
"I ask our community to take care, be kind, stay connected digitally and please get in contact with us if we can help in any way."
Their thoughts were particularly with the teacher and her family, Watkinson said.
"I thank them for getting tested early, and for following all health advice given."