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.
Secondary Close Contacts
NSW Health have assessed the situation regarding secondary close contacts. Where a person has been identified as close contact, then only people who have been in their households and their very close friends need to isolate until they receive a negative test, not other people at the school unless they have symptoms.
Any staff or students who have been to a location with a confirmed COVID-19 case will need to follow the NSW Health advice. People who have been to an identified venue of concern who have been identified as a close contact, will need to follow the advice from NSW Health and get tested and self-isolate for 14 days. This information will have been communicated directly to those who are close contacts.
Anyone who is a close contact must isolate for the full 14 days as directed by NSW Health and not return to school during this time.
Anyone who has even the mildest of symptoms including fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, loss of smell/taste, muscle/joint pains, diarrhoea, nausea/vomiting or extreme tiredness should immediately be tested and isolate until they get a negative test result and then when they are free of symptoms can return to school.
This information applies to border communities attending a NSW Catholic school.
Updated 22 July 2021
Students and staff in border communities can continue to attend NSW schools at this time, except for the following reasons:
• They must remain at home if they are unwell, even with the mildest of symptoms. If they are unwell they must receive a negative COVID test and be symptom-free before returning to school.
• If they have been to a venue of concern they must comply with the self-isolation and testing requirements as directed by the relevant Health Department.
All students and staff that cannot attend school or work due to interstate border disruptions will be supported to learn and work from home. There may be some disruption for students and staff crossing interstate borders if they have
been to a ‘hotspot’ in NSW.
Students and staff who live in or around the NSW/Victoria border should seek further advice through the NSW and Victorian Government COVID-19 websites.
Extension of restrictions
The NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian has just announced a two-week extension of current community restrictions, including school settings.
- Level 2 for Regional Schools (see below)
- Level 4 Greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour LGA (see below)
These restrictions will be in place until the 30th of July.
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.
As no school in NSW falls under the level 3 classification, at this time, these will be made available at a later date.
- 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.
The following document relates to new COVID testing requirements for those persons who live or work in the Fairfield local government area and is included for your information only:
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