SA Health and the Department for Education has provided guidance on how to manage cases of COVID-19 in schools.
There will be new contract tracing and close contact arrangements in education from 31 January 2022.
The new arrangements recognise the importance of providing quality education and care for our students while minimising the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
Schools will remain open if there is a case of COVID-19 under the new arrangements.
It’s very important that you notify us immediately if your child tests positive to COVID-19.
If a student or teacher in your child’s class tests positive for COVID-19, they will be deemed a classroom contact and the following will occur:
- We will notify all parents in that class of the positive case
- All students without symptoms can continue attending school. No rapid antigen testing will be required.
- If your child develops any symptoms (even mild) please keep them home from school and get a COVID-19 test.
Any student who has worked 1:1 with a COVID positive staff member (more than 15mins, indoors, in close proximity and where face masks are not able to be worn) will be asked to complete 7 days of rapid antigen testing (‘test to stay’) each morning before attending school. We will provide you with the testing kits at no charge. Students that test positive must not attend school.
Alternatively, if you don’t want your child to complete the 7-day testing, they can quarantine for 7 days. The Department for Education is developing online learning resources for students in years reception to 10 that can be completed during quarantine.
The Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) has recommended that classroom contacts should avoid the following between days 1 to 7 of exposure:
- attendance at OSHC where possible
- attending extra-curricular-based activities for 7 days (such as camps, excursions, interschool sport, combined choir etc – noting most of these activities have been temporarily suspended until week 4).
The CPHO advises classroom contacts should do the following to minimise risk to others, when outside of the school between days 1 to 14 of exposure:
- avoid high risk settings or COVID Management Plan events
- wear a surgical mask around others (where age appropriate) and outside your home
- avoid contact with vulnerable people outside of your workplace or family, where possible
- avoid non-essential activities where possible (eg where there are lots people, inside, in close contact)
- avoid shared spaces and maintain physical distance.
Our staff will also undergo 7 days of rapid antigen testing (test to stay) in the event that they are in a classroom with a student or colleague who tests positive.
It’s vitally important that you please:
- keep your child/ren home if they are:
- experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms
- any other member of the household has COVID-19
- they are a close contact for a person who has COVID-19 and are required to quarantine
- notify us asap if your child/ren tests positive for COVID-19
- SA Health and the Department for Education have strongly recommended that children from years 3-6 wear masks when indoors. We will have supplies of surgical masks (child sized), which will be available free of charge. If your child asks for a mask we will supply them with a single use one. Children can wear masks brought in from home.
These new settings will be in place until the end of week 4 of term 1. However, with the rapidly changing nature of the pandemic, this may be reviewed or changed if and when needed. As always, we must remain flexible and responsive.
I understand you may have a lot of questions about this information. We’ll continue to provide you information as soon as we have it.
Thank you for your understanding and support in implementing these temporary measures as we continue to adjust to this rapidly changing pandemic.
Kind regards, Paul