Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Students at Manukau Institute of Technology sent home after one tests positive

Bubble mates of a student at Manukau Institute of Technology’s Otara campus have been sent home after a positive Covid-19 test was returned this week.

MIT chief executive Gus Gilmore issued a notice to students yesterday confirming the class was closed for deep cleaning and that all affected students had been informed.

“Bubble mates of the student are no longer working and learning on campus. They have been advised to call Health Line and follow the guidance provided,” he said in the letter to students.

All students and staff in the affected bubble have been tested and since returned a negative result.

“The classroom they were using will undergo deep cleaning before students re-enter the space,” Gilmore said.

All students at the campus had been offered support by the pastoral care team.

Gilmore stressed there were strict safety protocols in place to protect staff and students which included:

* limited numbers on campus
* bubbles of 10
* staggered classes
* social distancing
* mask use in class and outside on campus
* Safe hygiene practices, including cleaning of learning spaces between classes
* Designated facility entrances and exits, as well as different toilets for each bubble

A spokesman for the campus said there were only eight bubbles of fewer than 10 people on the campus at the time.

Of the 1700 students who use the Otara campus on a normal day at alert level 1, the majority are learning online.

Students and staff were strongly encouraged to get vaccinated although it was not a current requirement.

“Once the Red level of the Covid-19 Protection framework comes in, students and staff in tertiary education will need to be fully vaccinated to attend on-campus classes,” the spokesperson said.

The institute said it was the proud community partner for the country’s first mass vaccination event earlier in the year where more than 15,000 people were vaccinated against Covid-19.

The positive MIT case comes days after Mt Albert Grammar announced a second student had tested positive for Covid-19.

The school had only just reopened after a previous Covid case before a second, unrelated case was discovered. On Monday principal Pat Drumm announced the senior students would return to at-home learning.

About 130 students and staff at the school required a Covid test.

Avondale College announced on Sunday that one of its students has tested positive for Covid-19 and has recommended that seniors return to online learning.

Last week, a cleaner at Howick College in Auckland’s east also tested positive for Covid, but the school announced it would remain open as the risk was deemed low.

A student at Lynfield College also tested positive for Covid over the weekend and a staff member at Macleans College tested positive for the virus last week.

Next week all school students have been given the green light to return to school.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced on Wednesday Years 1-10 students in Waikato and Auckland will be able to return to the classroom from November 17.

Primary and intermediate pupils will go back part-time and schools will set their own hours.

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