COVID-19

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.

Latest COVID-19 case locations in NSW

Check the latest COVID-19 case locations in NSW and follow the recommended actions if you have been in a location where there may have been exposure to COVID-19. We encourage members of the community to monitor this site. Please follow the relevant health advice if you have been at any of the locations at the specified dates and times.

The locations along with the times and dates of identified cases can be found on the NSW COVID-19 website. There are more than 350 COVID-19 testing locations across NSW, many of which are open seven days a week.

Students are reminded to remain vigilant and practise physical distancing and hygiene measures to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff are maintained.

School Attendance

NSW Health has requested that schools encourage anyone who is unwell or has even mild flu-like symptoms, to arrange to be tested through their local medical practitioner or one of the COVID-19 clinics.

Students and staff with flu-like symptoms need to be tested and provide a copy of a negative COVID-19 test result and be symptom-free before being permitted to return to school.

Students who do not undertake a COVID-19 test will not be permitted to return to school for a 10-day period. Additionally, they must be symptom-free for at least 3 days prior to returning to school.

Students who have seasonal allergic rhinitis or another condition that presents similarly to flu-like symptoms are still required to get tested for COVID-19 and return a negative test result. Where their symptoms continue beyond 10 days, students should provide documentation from their GP confirming their symptoms are typical for their condition. If the student develops new or changed symptoms, they should get tested for COVID-19. Find more information about COVID-19 symptoms.

COVID-19 testing for students with complex health or disability may be challenging. In these situations, schools will ask the parent or carer to have their child assessed by their medical practitioner. Where a medical practitioner determines that a COVID-19 test is not required, documentation must be provided to the school to confirm that the student does not have symptoms that warrant a COVID-19 test. The certificate must also indicate that the student is able to return to school.

All schools will be vigilant when implementing infection control, physical distancing and personal hygiene protocols to protect the health and safety of students and staff. Schools will promote the need to follow good hygiene practices such as:

  • regularly washing hands.
  • avoiding sharing drinks or food.
  • coughing or sneezing into your elbow, or a tissue which should be discarded immediately

Students will be supported to learn from home in the following circumstances:

  • If they are required to self-isolate due to being a close contact of a positive or suspected COVID-19 case.
  • Where the school is directed under public health advice to only remain operational for children of essential workers if an outbreak of COVID-19 was to arise in the local area.

Responding to COVID-19 cases

There is a clear plan in place for schools to respond to any suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our schools. We are working closely with NSW Health and will communicate with parents if a situation arises.

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:

Key information

  • 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

Schooltv.me has released a helpful short video that details how to talk to your child about the pandemic (suitable for primary and secondary students).

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:

Online safety

We recommend the following information regarding online safety from the Australian Government eSafety Commissioner