Measles information

Since March 2019, the number of confirmed cases of Measles has continued to grow, currently impacting multiple regions. This page supports the Ministry of Health to provide information to schools and early learning centres.

General information

The guidance in this section may help schools and early learning services with both the prevention and management of confirmed and suspected measles cases.

Information provided in this section may be branded by a specific Public Health Unit, however the material is useful for every school and early learning service across the country at this time.

Measles — Ministry of Health (external link)

Measles — Health Navigator (external link)

Measles Report — Public Health Surveillance (external link)

Infectious diseases in early learning services and schools — a guide to legal powers [PDF, 141 KB]

Immunisation guidelines for early learning services and primary schools

The Health (Immunisation) Regulations 1995 require all early learning services and primary schools to keep an immunisation register of children attending their service or school.

The register can help reduce the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases in early childhood services or primary schools as well as the wider community, by providing an ongoing record of who has been immunised for what and when. It also encourages completion of the immunisations where parents or guardians may need a reminder to catch up with their children’s immunisations.

Immunisation guidelines for early learning services and primary schools — Healthed (external link)

Activity and travel advisory

It is important to consider any health related issues that may be ongoing in your community and at your destination, when planning activities and travel (domestically and overseas).  Schools should consider seeking advice from your local District Health Board or Public Health Unit on any outbreaks or recommended immunisations for travellers, to assist in their planning and communications with students and parents.   

From 9 September, the Bay of Plenty is hosting the annual AIMS Games. The Bay of Plenty and Lakes District Health Boards have provided advice for everyone traveling to the Bay for this event. You can find out more on the AIMS Games website.

Advice for schools attending AIMS Games (external link)

Public health unit contacts

We encourage you to contact your local District Health Board or Public Health Unit if you have any questions or concerns.

Public health unit local contacts (external link)

Regional information

Information under the Education Regions below are specific to the schools and/or services in that area due to the different stages of outbreak and regional public health action in those regions.

Auckland only information

The Auckland Regional Public Health Service has advised that they are moving into a different phase for measles management. Visit the Auckland Regional Public Health Service’s page for the most up-to-date school and early learning service information for your region.

Measles outbreak in Auckland — Auckland Regional Public Health Service (external link)

Waikato only information

Waikato District Health Board has asked the Ministry to support notifying their local schools and early learning services of advice. You may have received a letter via email, however if you have not, you can read it on the Waikato DHB website.

Measles Imminent, public health advice for education providers — Waikato DHB (external link)

Otago and Southland information 

Southern District Health Board has asked the Ministry to support notifying their local schools and early learning services of advice. You may have received a letter via email, however if you have not, you can download it below.

Protect your children, students and staff from measles — Public Health South [PDF, 625 KB]

Information for staffing provisions

During any period where a school is closed or staff are required to remain at home it is expected that schools will continue to pay staff for the days/hours they would have normally worked.

Adults who can provide documentation of two MMR vaccines or who were born in NZ before 1 January 1969 will not be impacted by preclusions, unless the school they are working at closes. These adults will be able to return to school once it reopens.

Adults born after 1 January 1969, who cannot provide documentation of vaccination for measles or who have not been immunised may be asked not to attend school. These adults will not be able to return to school for a period of time specified by the DHB and/or Medical Officer of Health.

Staff may be able to return to work if they subsequently provide documentation of vaccination or immunity (staff should check with their local DHB or phone Healthline on 0800 611 116 for advice and information about what is required).

Staff who cannot work for a period specified by the DHB and/or Medical Officer of Health, but who could do work from home, should do so.

For staff who are required to be absent but who cannot work from home, the following measures are available to schools:

Situation

Leave Type

How to claim

Teachers or Principals who are precluded from attending/returning to school because they have contracted measles or have been in direct contact with someone who has contracted measles.

The absence should be recorded as sick leave. At the conclusion of the leave the teacher can request disregarded sick leave.

  • Email a request for disregarded sick leave to employment.relations@education.govt.nz
  • Include evidence that the period of preclusion was due to your illness or because you were in direct contact will someone who contracted measles (e.g. a letter from the Medical Officer of Health).

Teachers or Principals who are precluded from attending/returning to school because of their own immunisation status.

The Secretary will fund up to 2 weeks discretionary special leave with pay but only following the first instance in their school.

  • Send a NOVO12 to Novopay/EPL with the details of the absence
  • Include a copy of the letter from the DHB that sets out the period of preclusion.

Non-teaching staff who are precluded from attending/returning to school either because they have contracted measles or have been in contact with someone who has contracted measles or due to their immunisation status.

Schools can grant either sick leave or discretionary leave and can seek funding where additional staff are employed.

  • Schools can forward leave forms or
  • Enter leave in the usual manner.

 

Information about seeking additional funding is outlined below.

Staff who are precluded from attending/ returning to school because they cannot be immunised for medical reasons.

The Secretary will fund up to 2 weeks discretionary special leave with pay for each outbreak.

  • Send a NOVO12 to Novopay/EPL with the details of the absence
  • Include a copy of the letter from the DHB that sets out the period of exclusion and
  • Include and a letter from their GP confirming they cannot be immunised.

Staff decides to self-quarantine because of the immunisation status of a member of their household.

Board of Trustees could consider granting domestic or family leave which will be deducted from the teacher’s sick leave entitlement.

You are unable to claim.

Note: disregarded sick leave is when time off for sickness or injury isn’t deducted from a teacher’s or principal’s sick leave balance. Only teachers and principals qualify for disregarded sick leave.

Additional Funding

Relief teacher scheme

Additional relief teacher funding is available for schools employing relief teachers to cover teachers who have been precluded from attending/returning to school.

Additional relief teacher funding

Non-teaching staff

Up to two weeks cover for non-teaching staff who have been precluded from attending/returning to school is available for schools that need to employ additional non-teaching staff.

To make a claim for additional relief teacher or additional non-teaching staffing email resourcing@education.govt.nz including:

  • whether it is for a relief teacher or non-teaching staff
  • the details and days the additional staff were employed and
  • a copy of the letter from the DHB or Medical Officer of Health that sets out the period of exclusion.

Our resourcing call centre will also be able to answer any questions that you have - phone 04 463 8383.

Note: for non-teaching staff who are precluded from returning due to their own immunisation status this additional funding will only be available following the first instance in the school, for up to two weeks.

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