New Zealand Moves to Phase 3

Feb 24, 2022

This afternoon the Prime Minister announced that New Zealand will move to Phase 3 of the Red setting at 11.59 pm tonight.

Kia ora koutou,

Earlier today I shared news of a confirmed case of COVID-19 in our school community.

This was a scenario we have been expecting and preparing for. We responded swiftly to undertake contact tracing and identify close contacts as required under Phase 2 of the Government’s Omicron response. A number of students and staff were identified and are isolating. 

The Move to Phase 3

This afternoon, the COVID-19 Response Minister announced that New Zealand will be moving out of Phase 2 and into Phase 3 of the Red Setting at 11.59 pm tonight, Thursday 24 February. 

At Phase 3, close contacts no longer need to isolate — unless they have symptoms.

“From midnight tonight, close contacts will no longer be required to self-isolate and only confirmed cases and household contacts of a confirmed case will be required to do so.”

What This Means

When Phase 3 starts tomorrow, Friday 25 February, all students can attend school as long as they do not show any COVID symptoms. Any students who have had a COVID test and are awaiting a result should remain at home until they have received a negative result.

If you live with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you are considered a household contact and will need to isolate for 10 days. You must get a test on Day 3 and Day 10 of your isolation. If you develop symptoms you should get a test sooner. If you are a household contact and you test positive, you will need to isolate for 10 days.

Please continue to inform us immediately if your student tests positive for COVID-19. Contact can be made via email to or by phoning 544 6099.

We understand there will be some anxiety about the news of COVID being in the community here at Waimea College. If your child needs support please do not hesitate to get in touch with either their Form Teacher or Year-Level Dean.

What you need to do

  • You and your whānau should watch for symptoms
  • If any develop, get tested immediately
  • Then, stay at home until you receive the result
  • If your whānau hasn’t been vaccinated, please consider doing so as soon as possible. You can book on-line at or by calling 0800 28 29 26. It’s free.

Symptoms of COVID-19

  • A new or worsening cough
  • Sneezing and runny nose
  • A fever
  • Temporary loss of smell or altered sense of taste
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath

Image by: Scott Haines

Less common symptoms include diarrhoea, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, malaise, chest pain, abdominal pain, joint pain, or confusion/irritability.

For more information, go to link)

Finally, we know how hard the impacts on COVID-19 have been for many families in New Zealand. If you know of a family in your community who is struggling, please encourage them to reach out for support for example to access food, medicine, or access financial support: Help is available – COVID-19 Health Hub.

Please reach out to us via phone 544 6099 or via email at if you have any questions. 

Ngā mihi nui,


By Scott Haines