Updated COVID response for schools

COVID-smart measures have been adjusted to help schools continue to operate through the increase in COVID-19 case numbers in the community

Handling a pack of rapid antigen test kits
Image: COVID-safe measures in schools have been adjusted to combat rise in cases

More rapid antigen tests will be supplied to teachers and students and flexible school based measures are being rolled out to help schools continue to operate through increased COVID-19 impacts.

The adjustments are outlined in COVID-smart school guidelines released today by the NSW Government in response to increasing COVID-19 cases in the community.

Minister for Education and Early Learning, Sarah Mitchell said the temporary measures have been put in place until at least the end of Term 1.

“A multipack of at least five RATs will be available for students and teachers at every school as needed to use when symptomatic because we know rapid antigen testing is an effective measure in mitigating the spread of COVID-19. Additional tests will also be provided for early childhood educators and staff,” Ms Mitchell said.

Where a community is experiencing an increase in COVID cases, the Department may direct the local school to adopt additional proportionate measures for a short period of time, such as requiring staff, adult visitors or high school students to wear masks indoors, or moving assemblies or large gatherings outdoors.

“These tailored measures will support the continuity of face-to-face learning and help to protect students and staff by reducing in-school transmission of COVID-19,” Ms Mitchell said.

“With a significant proportion of new cases being school aged children, it is important that we all do our part to help schools remain operational by staying home if you’re sick and test if you’re experiencing any symptoms or are a close contact.

“It is prudent that we continue to review and adjust our settings to deal with the challenges we will face throughout the school year to ensure students continue to receive face-to-face learning.”

Details of the COVID-Smart school settings are available on the NSW Department of Education website

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