Keeping our schools COVID and flu safe

Vaccination, ventilation, rapid antigen testing and good hygiene practices remain the key to keeping our schools safe from COVID-19 and influenza over the winter.

Teacher being vaccinated
Image: Vaccination is a key part of keeping our schools safe over winter

Flu is teaming up with COVID-19 to present a double threat to the smooth operation of NSW schools and early childhood services over the winter months.

NSW Health advise that, given the low exposure to flu over the past two years, there is a higher risk of transmission of both flu and COVID-19 across communities with the onset of winter.

This is particularly the case for our early childhood services where infants may never have been exposed to a flu virus. 

The Department of Education is preparing for the threat from viral illnesses by issuing a toolkit to schools and early education centres that encourages parents to have their children vaccinated against both the flu and COVID-19.

Influenza and COVID-19 are already circulating in the community, so it’s important that parents don’t put off vaccination.

The toolkit contains a variety of promotional materials including posters, social media tiles and other communication materials promoting vaccination as the frontline of defence against the viruses.

Everyone aged five years and over is recommended to get a COVID-19 vaccine, and everyone aged six months and older is recommended to get a flu jab.

Vaccinations are free and available through GPs and pharmacies, and you can get both vaccines at the same time.

The Department is confident that schools will remain operational over winter with a high level of vaccination combined with the COVID-smart settings introduced at the end of Term 1.

These measures include maintaining social distancing, good hygiene practices, the temporary introduction of mask-wearing, restricting visitors and pausing indoor gatherings such as assemblies and off-site and inter-school activities based on health and safety advice. 

We are confident these tailored measures will support the continuity of face-to-face learning and help to protect students.

Help your kids stay well this winter. For more information, visit this link.

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