26 September 2023

Schools learn fast to adapt COVID cases

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The Department of Education has adjusted its COVID-smart measures to allow NSW schools operate while the numbers of COVID-19 cases in the wider community continue to grow.

Announced by Minister for Education and Early Learning, Sarah Mitchell, more Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) are to be supplied to teachers and students, while flexible school-based measures are rolled out.

“A multipack of at least five RATs will be available for students and teachers at every school as needed to use when symptomatic, because we know rapid antigen testing is an effective measure in mitigating the spread of COVID-19,” Ms Mitchell said.

“Additional tests will also be provided for early childhood educators and staff,” she said.

“Where a community is experiencing an increase in COVID cases, the Department may direct the local school to adopt additional proportionate measures for a short period of time, such as requiring staff, adult visitors or high school students to wear masks indoors, or moving assemblies or large gatherings outdoors.”

Ms Mitchell said the tailored measures would support the continuity of face-to-face learning and help to protect students and staff by reducing in-school transmission of COVID-19.

The Minister said the measures would be in place until at least the end of the Term.

“With a significant proportion of new cases being school-aged children, it is important that we all do our part to help schools remain operational by staying home if you’re sick and test if you’re experiencing any symptoms or are a close contact,” she said.

“It is prudent that we continue to review and adjust our settings to deal with the challenges we will face throughout the school year to ensure students continue to receive face-to-face learning,” Ms Mitchell said.

Further information on the updated COVID-smart school settings can be accessed at this PS News link.

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