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Operational Considerations for Schools during COVID-19

Date: October 14, 2021

The Auckland region of New Zealand is experiencing ongoing community transmission of SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617.2 (Delta variant). Since the beginning of the Delta outbreak in August 2021, 40% of all cases have occurred in children and young people under 20 years old, driven largely by transmission from adults to children within households and families.


Prolonged school absence due to lockdowns is harmful to the social, physical and emotional wellbeing of children, particularly for children living in households affected by poverty, unstable housing, food insecurity, family violence and parental stress. This webinar aims to share current evidence base around school based interventions that could limit risk of exposure within schools as well as school closures.

In this webinar, Dr Jin Russell, Developmental Peadiatrician, Starship Hospital, talks on the impacts of COVID-19 on children and how schools can manage risk of transmission within schools. 

Dr Pip Anderson, Public Health Physician talks on the principles of COVID-19 outbreak management in schools.


Bibliography courtesy of Dr Jin Russell


Covid-19 and hospitalisation risks to children with pre-existing conditions. 

Tsankov BK, Allaire JM, Irvine MA, Lopez AA, Sauvé LJ, Vallance BA, et al. Severe COVID-19 Infection and Pediatric Comorbidities: A Systematic Review and Meta- Analysis. International Journal of Infectious Diseases. 2021;103:246-56

Efficacy of mask wearing to reduce Covid-19 transmission.

Wilkinson C, Low F, Rindelaub J, Gluckman P. Improving mask use to reduce Covid-19 transmission. Koi Tū: The Centre for Informed Futures. September 2021

Mitigations within schools to reduce incidence of Covid-19​.

Gettings J, Czarnik M, Morris E, et al. Mask Use and Ventilation Improvements to Reduce COVID-19 Incidence in Elementary Schools - Georgia, November 16-December 11, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021; 70:779-84​

Villers J, Henriques A, Calarco S, et al. SARS-CoV-2 aerosol transmission in schools: the effectiveness of different interventions. medRxiv. 2021:2021.08.17.21262169


San Francisco has had no outbreaks in schools since reopening in April 2021.

Updated data on COVID-19 cases among San Francisco children and in schools

COVID-19 cases in schools

S.F. schools report no COVID outbreaks, even as delta overwhelms districts elsewhere

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.

Covid-19 resource hub

Ventilation in New Zealand schools.

Standards Association of New Zealand. New 4303: Ventilation for acceptable indoor air quality New Zealand Standard. 1990

Ministry of Education.

Designing quality learning spaces Indoor air quality and thermal comfort. 2017

Centres for Disease Control and Prevention Ventilation in Buildings. Cited 16 September 2021.

Ventilation in Buildings | CDC

Auckland paediatricians and public health specialists public health blog on school reopening.

Webb R, Russell J, Anderson P, Best E, Leversha A, Rajanaidu S. Public Health Expert. University of Otago. 11 October 2021


Transmission of the delta variant in ECE and school settings, NSW report National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance. 

COVID-19 in schools and early childhood education and care services – the experience in NSW: 16 June to 31 July 2021. September 2021. NSW Health

ECDC Report.

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. COVID-19 in children and the role of school settings in transmission - second update. Stockholm: ECDC, 2021

MRCI Covid—19 Governance Group. Research Brief.

Covid-19 and child and adolescent health. Version 1. 13 September 2021. Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. Victoria, Australia

The GoodSpace Schools resources is provided to support schools implementing wellbeing programmes in intermediate and secondary schools.

The information, including external links and materials, is supplied by the presenter and is accurate at the time of presentation.  

These event resources does not imply endorsement or recommendation by GoodSpace Schools.

GoodSpace Schools accepts no responsibility or liability for any errors, omissions, offers or details in any such information or materials.

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