‘Past the peak’, but school closes due to Covid

A small rural Mid Canterbury school has been forced to close its doors due to Covid.

Chertsey School, with a roll of 34 pupils, has had to close this week after a rise in active cases.

Board chair Malcolm Chubb confirmed the school has been impacted by Covid and its pupils will be online learning until at least Monday.

Ashburton District Mayor Neil Brown said that just over 10 per cent of the Ashburton District has reported as having Covid.

“There is still 90 per cent that have either not rung in with the virus and said they have got it or have not had it,” Brown said.

He believes “we are going over the edge” of the peak now with case numbers heading down.

The Canterbury DHB reported 722 active cases in the district, as of 8am Wednesday, down from 764 cases on Tuesday.

There are 17,430 active cases across Canterbury, down from 18,316 on Tuesday.

Brown said vaccination is still the key to protection and will protect the community moving forward.

While cases numbers were dropping, Brown said it has come at a cost.

“There has been a cost and it’s been a cost to us all.

“It’s cost us as a country, it’s been a cost to individuals, businesses, even to this council it’s been a cost.

“How long it will keep costing us well I’m not too sure, but it’s certainly been a cost we can tangibly recognise.”

– By Jonathan Leask