Response protocols for COVID-19 cases

Last updated 8 am 23 April 2022

In line with the changes in the general community settings, the department’s protocols for COVID-19 cases have changed.

  • Positive COVID-19 cases should be reported to the school if they have attended school recently.
  • Positive RAT results must be reported through the Service NSW website and Service SNW app. If you do not live in NSW but work in a NSW school, you must register your positive RAT result in line with your state or territory’s local requirements and notify the school as soon as possible. Refer to the overview of positive RAT reporting guidelines by state and territory for more information.
  • Parents and carers are asked to select the name of the school or early childhood centre when registering a positive RAT via ServiceNSW.
  • Positive RAT or PCR test results for all staff and students must be reported to the school.
  • It is recommended that students and staff that return to school after recovering from COVID-19 do not participate in rapid antigen testing for 12 weeks following release from self-isolation unless they develop new COVID-19 symptoms. This is due to NSW Health advice that people who have recovered from COVID-19 have a low risk of contracting it again in the following 12 weeks.

Overview of positive RAT reporting guidelines by state or territory

NSW

Must be reported to Service NSW. Online form and app options. Phone option provided for those that require assistance registering result.

Refer to the NSW Government's Register a positive RAT result for further information and to register a positive result.

NSW Health provides additional information through the following fact sheets:

Please refer to the Guidelines for ECEC services for information relating to the management of COVID-19 cases in early childhood education and care services.

ACT

Must be reported to ACT Health. Online form provided. Phone option provided for those that require assistance registering result.

Refer to the ACT Government's RAT positive result registration form for further information and to register a positive result.

Queensland

Must be reported to Queensland Health. Online form provided. Phone option provided for those that require assistance registering result.

Refer to the Queensland Government's RAT positive result registration form for further information and to register a positive result.

Victoria

Must be reported to Victoria Health. Online form and phone options.

Refer to the Victorian Government's reporting your result for further information and to register a positive result.

Students and staff returning to school after having COVID-19

When a staff member who recovered from having COVID-19 is released from isolation, they will receive an SMS or email from NSW Health confirming the end of their isolation period. The SMS or email is the medical clearance that they can provide to employers indicating that they are no longer infectious and cannot pass COVID-19 on to other people.

Students who recovered from having COVID-19 and are released from isolation will receive an SMS or email from NSW Health through their parents or carers, confirming the end of their isolation period. Consistent with the attendance policy, schools can view the medical clearance but are not required to confirm or monitor that the student’s isolation period has been completed.

People who have recovered from COVID-19 have a low risk of getting it again in the 12 weeks after they are released as most people develop some immunity (ability to fight the disease).

It is recommended that students and staff that return to school after recovering from COVID-19 do not participate in rapid antigen testing for 12 weeks following release from self-isolation unless they develop new COVID-19 Symptoms.

If a student or staff member who has recovered from COVID-19 comes into contact with someone with COVID-19 within 12 weeks after they are released, they are not required to self-isolate or get a test unless they have new COVID-19 symptoms.

If students/staff come into contact with someone with COVID-19 more than 12 weeks after they are released, they will need to self-isolate, test and follow the advice in the Information for people exposed to COVID-19 and Get tested for COVID-19 factsheets. However, if students/staff have been released from isolation before other positive cases in their household, they will not need to self-isolate or test unless they develop new COVID-19 symptoms.

Please refer to NSW Health’s fact sheet for people testing positive to COVID-19 for more information.

Close contacts

Updated 23 April 2022

The announcement to ease the isolation requirements for close contacts was made on 20 April 2022. This will enable students and staff who are close contacts and have no symptoms to continue to attend school if they follow guidelines agreed with NSW Health. Close contacts will not be permitted to enter an SSP or support unit (including Assisted School Travel Program) and will be supported to continue learning or working from home where possible.

Refer to Advice for families for more information.

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