COVID -19 UPDATES & INFORMATION
We are closely monitoring the development of the COVID-19 coronavirus situation and are committed to following guidance provided by the relevant authorities.
The safety and wellbeing of our students and staff is a top priority and this page will be updated as needed to keep our school communities informed of developments.
Guidelines have been provided to all schools regarding current COVID-19 protocols, in accordance with advice provided by NSW Health, AHPPC and Catholic Schools NSW. If you have any questions or concerns, please direct them to your relevant school principal in the first instance.
To minimise movement and protect regional communities ALL of Regional NSW will go into a lockdown from 5pm Saturday 14 August 2021.
The reasons you may leave your home include:
- Shopping for food or other essential goods and services;
- Medical care or compassionate needs (people can leave home to have a COVID-19 vaccination unless you have been identified as a close contact);
- Exercise outdoors in groups of 2 or fewer (unless members of the same household);
- Work, where you cannot work from home.
- Schooling will be done from home.
- Masks must be worn indoors (not including the home) and in outdoor settings where you cannot socially distance from others (e.g. while queuing for takeaway).
PUBLIC HEALTH ALERT – NEW VENUES OF CONCERN
NSW Health has advised of a number of new close and casual contact venues of concern associated with confirmed cases of COVID-19, as well as sewage detections.
NSW Health’s ongoing sewage surveillance program has detected traces of the virus that causes COVID-19 at the Parkes and Brooklyn sewage treatment plants.
These are of particular concern, as there are no known cases in these areas. Everyone in these areas is urged to monitor for the onset of symptoms, and if they appear, to immediately be tested and isolate until a negative result is received.
For a full list of locations, including close and casual contact venues, public transport routes or changes to previously reported venues, visit https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/nsw-covid-19-case-locations
Anyone with even mild cold-like symptoms must immediately get tested and self-isolate until a negative result is received. Find your nearest testing clinic: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/health-and-wellbeing/clinics.
Find your nearest testing clinic: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/health-and-wellbeing/clinicshttps://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/health-and-wellbeing/clinics.
Key changes and announcements
Catholic Schools NSW has worked closely with NSW Health to develop a framework for COVID-19 response settings for schools. This framework includes:
- Level 1: Students learning at school, with all activities occurring in a COVID-safe way (including use of QR codes)
- Level 2: Students learning at school, with non-essential visitors restricted from school sites, and certain activities modified to be COVID-safe; masks recommended indoors for all staff, and all students in Year 7 and above (noting exemptions apply)
- Level 3: Students learning at school, with non-essential visitors restricted from school sites, reduced mingling between student and year cohorts and restrictions on activities; masks mandatory for all staff, and all students in Year 7 and above (noting exemptions apply)
- Level 4: Students encouraged to learn from home, but schools open for students and their families who need it. For those on school sites, masks are mandatory for all staff, and all students in Year 7 and above (noting exemptions apply).
Three COVID-19 general school guidance documents have been developed. Note this includes:
- General COVID-19 guidance, which provides overall guidance for all schools
- Guidance for schools in Greater Sydney (including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Shellharbour and Wollongong)
- Guidance for schools in regional NSW.
- The NSW Government website continuously updates the identified COVID-19 case locations in NSW. Make sure you regularly visit the website and encourage your staff to do the same. Please follow the instructions if you have visited one of the locations.
- Schools should report any suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 to your Diocesan office (Systemic schools) or Catholic Schools NSW (RI and PJP schools) and contact the local Public Health Unit on 1300 066 055 to provide details so that the Public Health Unit can follow up as necessary.
Resources (from CSNSW)
Please find below documents from CSNSW as at the evening of 7 July 2021.
RESOURCES FOR PARENTS
We recognise and understand the feelings of anxiety, distress and concern many people may be experiencing in relation to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and offer the following wellbeing advice.
The Australian Psychological Society has advice about maintaining positive mental health during the outbreak.
Talking to your child about COVID-19
Queensland Government has a range of storybooks to read with younger children, these cover challenging topics such as sickness and natural disasters.
The Child Mind Institute has provided an article on Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus
Psychology Today has an overview on How to Talk to Kids and Teens About the Coronavirus
Other available resources:
Kids Helpline is a telephone counselling support line for children and young people ages 5 to 25 and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Helpful information is available on their website for children and young people, parents and carers, schools and teachers.
Other reliable sources of information for maintaining good mental health include:
- BeyondBlue – Looking after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak
- ReachOut – Ways to take care of yourself during coronavirus
We recommend the following information regarding online safety from the Australian Government eSafety Commissioner