Keeping safe this winter - COVID-19 and influenza advice

What will the 2022 influenza season look like?

We know that the winter season brings an increase of risk of infectious diseases, especially influenza. Health experts have advised that the 2022 winter will see an increase in COVID-19 cases coinciding with a flu season that may be more severe due to a lack of exposure to the flu in two years. Early childhood education and care services will face increasing challenges during this period.​

Unlike winter in 2021, in which community lockdowns saw infrequent human contact, this winter will see an increase in freedoms across the community and more in-person events that will see an increase in influenza, COVID-19 and other infectious disease cases.

We are already seeing an increase in cases and other infectious illnesses that present similar symptoms, such as influenza and gastro. ​

Unlike COVID-19, other infectious diseases such as the winter influenza can be more harmful for young children. Without the introduction of new government mandates, services will need to consider individual actions in line with their policies to mitigate transmission of the influenza and COVID-19 within their services.​

*Services are required under the National Law and Regulations to have policies and procedures for dealing with infectious diseases and illness (regulations 85, 88, 168 and 169).

Protecting yourself against influenza and COVID-19

The influenza vaccine is the best protection for you and your loved ones against severe flu this winter.

  • You can access current, accurate information on influenza vaccines at NSW Health’s website, this includes information on free influenza vaccines.

  • Continue to encourage those eligible to be up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations. Getting vaccinated is the most important way that educators can protect themselves and the children in our services and those in our communities from COVID-19. You can access current, accurate information on COVID-19 vaccinations at the Australian Government Department of Health’s website.

  • Click here for more information on COVID-19 vaccination information.

Keeping your services informed about infectious diseases, including influenza and COVID-19

  • Access NSW Health influenza and COVID-19 posters and resources for your service.

  • Keep up to date here on infectious disease alerts and advice, and information on contacting your local public health unit.

  • While it is expected that COVID-19 Public Health Orders and mandates will continue to ease, services should stay up-to-date on COVID-19 rules and restrictions here. The Department will contact all services on any significant changes to Public Heath Orders or new NSW Health advice.

NSW Health have developed fact sheets for managing influenza, and have updated information on ECEC COVID-19 guidance and managing gastro in ECE settings.

Advice and guidance on managing infectious diseases such as COVID-19 is guided by NSW Health. See NSW Health’s Stay Safe in COVID for more information.

COVID-19 safety

Continue to stay-up-date to date on our COVID-19 safety webpage. This includes our COVID safety in early childhood education and care services: Guidance booklet with COVID-smart measures that services can introduce, including physical distancing measures, requiring face masks, cleaning and hygiene measures.

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