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COVID-19 18 March Update

COVID-19 18 March Update

18 March 2020


Dear parent/caregiver,

Prime Minister  Scott Morrison  and Australia’s  Chief  Medical Officer Professor Brendan  Murphy  addressed  the nation today and explained why the decision has been taken to keep schools and early childhood  facilities open at this time.

Current  advice is that pre-emptive  closures are not proportionate or effective as a public  health  intervention to prevent community transmission of COVID-19.  This position is endorsed by state and federal chief public health officers and the national cabinet made up of the Prime Minister, state premiers and territory chief ministers.

We have followed and will continue to follow the advice of public health officials. If the advice changes  we will update our approach and let you know.

COVID-19 protocol

The Department for Education’s  current COVID-19  protocol is to close a site immediately  for a minimum of 24

hours  if  a confirmed  case  is  identified  for someone  at that  site.  If that  happens  parents  and carers  will  be contacted to come and collect their child and/or agree how they can leave safely.

The closure  allows public health officials to identify  and contact people  who need to self-isolate  and for us to conduct a thorough, professional clean of the site. The site will only reopen once the agreed protocol steps have been completed.

Precautionary  measures

Our  sites are taking  precautionary  steps, including  increasing  the frequency  of cleaning  and  promoting  good

hygiene practices.

In addition, they are practicing social distancing, including limiting the number  of people involved  in indoor and outdoor gatherings, cancelling  sporting events and excursions,  reducing the movement  of services providers in and around the site and restricting travel.

What you can do to help

The community  also has an important role to play, in particular in ensuring that children who are ill stay home. We also ask that you reinforce good hygiene practices by talking to your children about the need to:

  • wash hands regularly and thoroughly, particularly after using the toilet and before eating
  • avoid spreading infections to others by staying home if they are unwell
  • cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue.

Please also ensure  your contact details are up to date at your child’s education or early childhood  setting. It’s essential they can contact you if the site has to close due to a confirmed case of COVID-19.

Yours sincerely

Rick Persse                                                                   Hon John Gardner MP

Chief Executive                                                           Minister for Education