Dunedin school to close after student tests positive for virus

Until now New Zealand schools have been left out of large gathering bans to try to limit the spread of the Covid-19 virus, but today a Dunedin school pupil tested positive and is in self-isolation, and his school will close for 48 hours at least.

ODT: Pupil tests positive, school to close

A Logan Park High school pupil has tested positive for coronavirus, meaning his school will close for at least 48 hours.

The Otago Daily Times was told that parents of pupils at the school received emails this evening confirming the news.

The pupil is the son of a Dunedin man who recently returned from Germany and has also tested positive for the virus, the Southern District Health Board said this evening.

The SDHB announced earlier today that contact tracing was under way after the man – in his 40s – tested positive and that results for two other family members were expected back today.

This evening it was confirmed the pupil had tested positive and the school would close for 48 hours as a consequence.

The DHB said contact tracing was now being undertaken to identify anyone who may have come into close contact with the parent, and it would be working with the school and family to identify any close contacts of the student over the next 24 to 48 hours.

Close contacts will be contacted by Public Health staff and will go into self-isolation for 14 days from their last contact with the student.

The school was working with both education staff and public health officials.  It will now close for at least 48 hours while close contacts are traced and put in self isolation and casual contacts given advice about what to do if they become unwell.  The school will be carefully cleaned before reopening.

So the first school to be shut down due to the virus. There is likely to be more, if not a blanket shutdown sooner or later.

And spread is inevitable.

Meanwhile, shortly before learning about the testing at Logan Park, a Dunedin mum whose teenage son goes to that school learned her youngest son was also being tested.

The woman, whom the Otago Daily Times is not naming, said her three-year-old son had been tested for the virus after being sent home sick from daycare.

She was expecting to receive results within 24 hours.

I don’t have much personal concern, but this is close to home. Logan Park High School is the closest secondary school to where I live, and there are possible ways people I have contact with have had contact with the Dunedin cases. I guess the contact tracing will identify any of this.

It brings home, or close to home, how this is affecting all of us and could affect us significantly more.


Leave a comment


  1. Duker

     /  17th March 2020

    Well they have looked in detail at the Diamond Princess ship where the crew and passengers were quaranteed with sick passengers with virtually no separation.
    And the result 83% DIDNT get Covid19
    Estimating the infection and case fatality ratio for COVID-19 using age-adjusted data from the outbreak on the Diamond Princess cruise ship

    Click to access 2020.03.05.20031773v2.full.pdf

    And passengers were tilted much more to the elderly cohort.
    And the next surprising thing nearly 50% who WERE infected showed no symptoms. This would have repercussions for the estimates of the mortality rate as we wouldn’t even know about half of those. For this ship the age age adjusted mortality rate is 1.2%( but could be between 0.38 and 2.7%) when you know all the infected cases, asymptomatic or not.

    Comparisons with US road traffic deaths which are 3100 , not per year but per MONTH, would there be a ruckus about it US Covid19 deaths reach 3000 for a whole year to shut down the economy?

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  17th March 2020

      Supposing it has only a 0.1% fatality.rste and affected 80% of the population. That would be 250,000 deaths in the US, 3800 here.

      • Duker

         /  18th March 2020

        On the Cruise ship 83% didnt get it infected and they were effectively in an incubator

        Where do you get your estimate that ‘effects 80% of population’ from?
        The mortality rate only effects the proportion with an actual infection , Im sure you understand that.
        Well, we know that 61,000 died from last major flu season in US 2017/18

        As the US population is 330 mill and not in incubator a more likely estimate is 5% catch the virus and 0.1% mortality rate on average, of those infected is 16,500. You could quadruple that by adjusting different rates and still ‘only’ be at the major flu epidemic numbers, and thats 2 years ago not a century ago. Of course we have flu vaccines which mitigate even a major flu epidemic

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  18th March 2020

          You’re probably wasting your time, Duker. I agree that the hysteria is out of all proportion, and as someone who has frequently severe asthma and is prone to chest infections I could well be badly affected by this virus. But as the chances are so slight, I won’t be living in a state of siege, spraying my change with alcohol as one person does (!!!) and wearing a useless mask. There are no cases in the Waikato, time enough to worry if there are….and in my area.

  2. David

     /  17th March 2020

    Further to that there is a study out of China indicating 83% of infections weren’t caught in the stats. Clever little virus has a bigger viral load in asymptomatic subjects.
    It’s not as statistically deadly by all accounts.

    • Duker

       /  18th March 2020

      Yes. The cruise ship was able to test all on board.
      7 died . Im not sure how many deaths they expect on any 2 week cruise for a variety of reasons , maybe one or two ?

  3. duperez

     /  18th March 2020

    I won the bet. I knew last night when I heard Logan Park High School was closing for a couple of days that one media outlet would lead the way in finding a parent who was unhappy with what the school was doing or had done.

    Sean Plunket himself could build a few days of grievances out of his audience on it. It’d be manna for multiple zb hosts to fill the gap caused by the dearth of experts providing waves of criticism of the Government’s announcement yesterday to build into tsunamis of attacks.

    So today we have it. All the 500+ pupils and staff should be tested. I won’t risk zb to hear some loony calling for the principal of the school to be sacked along with the Minister of Education.

    • Duker

       /  18th March 2020

      ‘Concern trolling’, its the modern version of the kiwi tall poppy syndrome.

      Newsroom does its journalism based on ‘concerns’ , as they are run on the cheap they dont even bother with finding ‘real people with concerns’ or even experts or well informed people connected to the concern . Nope they run template journalism story, or as it used to be known ‘interviewing the typewriter’
      The phrase dirty politics came into the news , this is dirty journalism , hiding behind fake concerns

  4. Latest news – 8 more positive results: four new cases in Auckland, two in Waikato, one in Christchurch and one in Invercargill.

    All international travel related.

    • Duker

       /  18th March 2020

      An abject apology should be coming from Heather du Plessis-Allan -Soper who last sunday called the international travel ‘lock down’ a sort of political based over reaction to ‘make Jacinda look strong’.
      When it was HDPA who was point scoring and playing games and if anything the close off should have been before the weekend but probably couldnt give those kiwis in Australia enough time

  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  18th March 2020

    At least the pandemic gives us a dry run to show what will happen if the climate alarmists are allowed to close down the economy.


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