Based on advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer, some significant changes have been made to how cases of COVID-19 and contacts of cases are managed in schools as we reach the 90% double dose milestone for eligible people in the coming days.
Schools will continue the process of identifying contacts of a confirmed case of COVID-19 at schools; contacts will no longer be contacted by the Department of Health with quarantine requirements. If your child is identified as a contact the school will contact you directly.
Contacts will be required to complete a standard (PCR) test within 24 hours from when they are identified by the school as a contact.
If the PCR test returns a negative result, the student can immediately return to school, with evidence of the negative result provided to the school.
It is strongly recommended that contacts complete five days of rapid antigen tests in the morning before they attend school.
You will be able to obtain these testing kits from testing centres from Monday 22 November if your child is required to complete a standard PCR test.
Where students are currently in quarantine due to an existing school exposure, they will be able to provide evidence of a negative standard PCR test and return to school following the instructions above.
In exceptional circumstances the Department of Health may determine that contacts in significant school outbreaks are still required to quarantine for seven days. In this scenario, students will be notified directly of any additional quarantine arrangements.
Face masks will now only be required by staff, visitors and Grades 3 to 6 students in an indoor space within a primary school (or schools which have primary students such as P-12 school).
The wearing of masks remains recommended elsewhere where physically distancing cannot be maintained.
As we head into the final few weeks of the school year, please continue to care for yourself and those around you.
Mr Michael Ritchie