A group of Francis Douglas students have been told to stay at home after they visited the Rotorua luge at the same time as an Auckland family who have tested positive for Covid-19.
In an alert sent out to parents and caregivers of students at the New Plymouth Catholic boys high school this morning, principal Martin Chamberlain said the Year 13 students were on a geography field trip at the time.
"A group of our Y13 students and their two teachers were on a field trip in Rotorua and at the luge at the same time s the infected Auckland people."
While level 2 restrictions don't require it, the students have been asked to stay at home for the remainder of the school week, he said.
"I decided to request isolation because it is better to be safe than sorry, especially if other parents were to ask why we had not done so."
The school learned that the students had been at the luge at the same time through the media on Wednesday, he said. All families had done as asked.
At that point an email was sent to the families asking for them to keep the boys at home. He says the two teachers on the trip are also staying away from the school this week and working from home instead.
Chamberlain says the group of 15 students included four boarders.
"They have all gone home yesterday."
He says the geography trip is an annual event, which students use to analyse the city's make up in terms of tourist enterprises.
Chamberlain himself is working from home as he had also been in Rotorua at the same time. He was in Rotorua for the Secondary Principals' Association of NZ conference which was taking place in the city this week. The conference has since been suspended as principals rushed to return to their schools as news of the move to the new alert levels broke on Tuesday.
"I am self-isolating and working from home to alleviate school community concern regarding my unlikely but possible infection and to avoid a double standard having asked the geography students to do so too."
Chamberlain says the decision to ask students stay at home was a precautionary measure.
"I hope our actions have all been for nought except peace of mind."