COVID-19 Guidance for school hostels

COVID-19 Guidance for school hostels

Guidance for school hostels while operating under the COVID-19 Protection Framework.

Infection prevention and control

Hostels need to implement robust infection control measures to minimise the spread of COVID-19. The measures used may vary depending on the risk assessment and context for the hostel at the time. For example, when case numbers are higher in the school community, measures used may include airing out rooms in between use by different groups, using only rooms which are well-ventilated, grouping boarders so that they do not intermingle with other groups, and staggering mealtimes.

Anyone in the hostel who is symptomatic (even if only very mild symptoms) must be encouraged to get tested for COVID-19.

Managing cases

Business continuity planning will need to include how to respond to cases whether in staff or boarders.

Boarders and staff living in the hostel who are identified as a confirmed case will be required to isolate for 7 days.

Isolating from others: COVID-19 – Ministry of Health NZ

Anyone from the hostel who is a close contact of that case is not required to isolate, but should remain very vigilant for any symptoms.  

There may be a number of boarders who will need to remain isolating in the hostel as they cannot safely return to their home, including international students. Planning must take this into account.

Where cases isolate at the hostel:

  • They should be separated as much as is practicable from others
  • Cases can isolate together.

Close contacts living in the hostel are recommended to:

  • get a test if they develop any COVID-19 symptoms
  • and if symptomatic, isolate until a negative test result, and
  • continue isolating for further 24 hours after symptoms are gone.

Supporting boarders’ and staff health and wellbeing continues to be a priority.

Guidance for school hostels

The guidance below provides proactive steps that can be taken to ensure the facility is safe for others living there. 

Hostel regulations

Click below for further information and regulations around setting up or running a school hostel. 

Running a hostel — Ministry of Education