Coronavirus (COVID-19)

For parents seeking advice, see Coronavirus Information for Parents.

For schools seeking Employee Relations advice, see Employee Relations – Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Safety Risk Review document applies to all schools, and outlines some key health, safety and wellbeing hazards for which schools should plan. It links to the controls prescribed by the latest health and safety guidance, and the supports available. It is designed to support the ongoing revision of the COVIDSafe Plan template, in conjunction with the School Operations Guide.

The information below is taken from the School Operations Guide.

Updated 28 October 2021

Quick reference of permitted school activities

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Question Answer

When do we need a COVIDSafe Plan?

The requirement to have a COVIDSafe Plan applies to all schools. The document outlines the key OHS risks and links to the latest guidance. It sets out the approach for managing safety risks in schools, with the minimum requirements for COVIDSafe Plans set out by the Victorian Government. Each campus will require a separate COVIDSafe Plan.

A template COVIDSafe Plan is available on the CEVN website. Schools will need to review and adjust the information to ensure it is appropriate to the particulars of each school’s setting. The plan must be regularly updated as required, while restrictions remain in place.

Your local diocesan education office can assist in tailoring the plan to individual school needs.

Question Answer

Where do I go for information about cleaning?

Refer to the Enhanced School Cleaning Guidelines.

COVIDSafe routine cleaning arrangements should continue for all Catholic schools in Term 4. This involves daily end-of-school-day cleaning, with a particular focus on cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces, and the inclusion of some elements that were not cleaned every day prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Where schools require additional support, the CECV can assist with recommendations on alternative contractors and/or third-party accredited auditors to review current cleaning processes.

Where do I find information for cleaning if we have a positive case?

Refer to the Cleaning and Disinfection Guidelines.

Question Answer

A student is unwell and has symptoms consistent with COVID-19. The student’s parents/carers are refusing to come and pick them up. What do I do?

If a parent/carer refuses to collect an unwell student, the regional leadership consultant (or diocesan education office equivalent) should be contacted for further guidance.

Refer to ‘Management of an unwell student or staff member’ in the School Operations Guide for detailed information on management of an unwell child, young person or staff member.

Am I able to require a student to be in a room without other students if their behaviour is unsafe (e.g. spitting, touching others)?

In circumstances where students cannot practise proper hygiene and cough etiquette, they must not be secluded in a room or area from which their exit is prevented by a barrier or another person in order to enforce physical distancing. However, students may be moved to different learning environments as they would be at any other time in a school. If a student’s behaviour is presenting an immediate danger for staff and/or other students, staff could elect to evacuate from the room so long as the student is supervised at a safe distance and their exit is not prevented. Where applicable, follow the behaviour support and safety plans in place.

What if a student refuses to wash their hands or use hand sanitiser, or follow other directions in relation to COVID-19 risk control measures?

Schools should follow the same actions they normally would to manage student behaviour, as they do in other contexts. If students don’t follow a verbal or visual instruction, other prompting strategies should be used.

We have students who physically hit, grab and touch staff when their behaviour is heightened. We use all possible means to assist the students to regulate their behaviour but, given the learning environment and staff are different, these behaviours are continuing. Can I require the student to be picked up by a parent or carer and not returned to school?

Schools implementing school-wide positive behaviour support (SWPBS) should already have an expected behaviour and explicit teaching about this. Staff should use a pre-correction prompt along with explicit teaching of this behaviour and, as a reactive intervention, use physical prompting.

Staff must ensure that their actions are consistent with the Education and Training Reform Regulations 2017 (Vic.) that govern the use of restraint in schools, which state that physical restraint can only be used to stop acts or behaviour dangerous to themselves or another person. The physical restraint must also be proportionate to the danger.

If required, request additional support by contacting the relevant diocesan education office.

Further information on managing challenging behaviours can be found in the Safe and Sound Practice Guidelines and Positive Behaviour Guidelines.

How can I determine if a child or young person with complex needs is unwell if they are not able to communicate this effectively?  

A child or young person’s individual care plan should contain advice to support staff in the assessment and recognition of illness in that child or young person.

It is advisable in the first instance to contact the parent or carer to discuss any concerns about the health status of a child or young person. A trained staff member could take the temperature of the child or young person, where appropriate, to support decision-making.

Question Answer

How can we reduce staff interactions in common areas such as the staffroom?

Staffrooms should be closed except for access to tea/coffee/food-making facilities. Where possible, staff are to rest, eat and meet in outdoor areas only.

Density limits of one person per four square metres apply in areas only accessed by staff, such as staff lunchrooms and staffrooms. Staff must practise physical distancing of at least 1.5 metres between themselves and other staff members or adults to the extent that is reasonably practicable.

If possible, carefully manage the movement of staff to reduce the number of people needing to access the staffroom at one time. Consider provision of additional areas for staff to have their breaks.

Consider purchasing additional kitchen material (such as microwaves, etc.) to reduce the need for staff to access the kitchen. Still be mindful of the need to prevent student access to equipment such as kettles or urns in a primary school setting.

What if parents still need to access the front office?

 

Density limits of one person per four square metres apply in areas generally accessed by the public, such as school reception. Ensure clear guidance is given to parents about access to the school site and display signage to indicate the maximum number of persons that may be present in the space at a single time.

If parents do need to access the front office, consider specifying the time for this to occur (i.e. outside school drop-off and pick-up times). All parents who enter school buildings must check in via a QR code and comply with face mask requirements.

Refer to the School Operations Guide for additional information on school visitors.

How can we discourage parents from congregating at the drop-off and pick-up gates?

  • Ensure clear communication is given to parents regarding drop-off and pick-up arrangements.
  • Provide multiple entry and exit points or staggered drop-off and pick-up times.
  • Ensure clear signage is displayed at school entrances requesting parents to drop and go.
  • Consider increased teacher presence at entrance points to assist in quick changeovers and communication with loitering persons.
  • Consider encouraging car drop-offs in ‘kiss and drop zones’ so parents won’t need to leave the car.
  • Ensure parent–school relationship codes of conduct are up to date and available (i.e. on the school website).
  • Communicate the strategies in place to parents and school communities regarding the need for behaviours that support physical distancing.

What additional measures should we have in place to assist adequate physical distancing of staff?

Close attention and proactive management must be provided so staff can physically distance. Specific attention should be paid to:

  • using larger spaces within the school that can support physical distancing for staff, such as halls, libraries and vacant classrooms
  • implementing signage and rostering so that access to physical spaces and food preparation areas can be managed in line with density limits and reducing congregation
  • reconfiguring class spaces where possible, using all available space within the school
  • appropriately spacing workstations and limiting the number of staff in offices
  • carefully managing the movement of adults through school reception and staffrooms, complemented by clear signage, access to hand sanitiser, and the timing of staff arrival and departure
  • where multiple staff are required in a classroom, reminding staff to maintain physical distancing from each other as much as practical
  • using floor markings
  • conducting professional development and staff meetings online or remotely, where practicable.

Schools should avoid working across multiple sites as much as practical, noting there will be some workforces that will need to work across multiple schools (i.e. health and wellbeing staff, and casual relief teaching staff).

Question Answer

Are all students required to wear a face mask from 11.59 pm on Tuesday 27 July 2021?

See ‘Face masks in schools’ in the School Operations Guide.

  • Secondary school students must wear a face mask indoors at school, including when attending an Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) program, unless a lawful exception applies.
  • Face masks are mandatory for all school students aged 12 or older on public transport and when in taxis or rideshare vehicles. This includes travelling to and from school on public transport and in taxis or rideshare vehicles.
  • Primary school students in Year 3 and above are to wear a face mask indoors at school, including when attending an OSHC program, unless a lawful exception applies.
  • For composite classes that include students in and above Year 3 and below Year 3, those below Year 3 are strongly encouraged to wear masks.
  • Students in Prep to Year 2 are strongly recommended to wear a face mask indoors at school or when attending an OSHC program.
External premises

Students attending camps and excursions will be required to meet any face mask requirements of an external provider/venue, including transport providers, unless a lawful exception applies.

Are all school staff required to wear a face mask from 11.59 pm on Tuesday 27 July 2021?

  • School staff must wear a face mask indoors at school, including when attending an OSHC program, unless a lawful exception applies.
  • School staff must wear face masks while teaching wherever practicable, except where removal of a face mask is necessary for effective communication.
  • Face masks are also mandatory for school staff when travelling to and from school on public transport and in taxis or rideshare vehicles, or in a vehicle with others not from their household.
External premises

Staff attending camps and excursions will be required to meet any face mask requirements of an external provider/venue, including transport providers, unless a lawful exception applies.

Are there any exemptions for people not wearing a face mask from 11.59 pm on Tuesday 27 July 2021?

There are a number of lawful reasons for not wearing a face mask, including for those who are unable due to the nature of their disability, medical or mental health condition. Students or staff who have a medical condition – including problems with their breathing, a serious skin condition on the face, a disability or a mental health condition – are not required to wear a face mask. This includes students who attend special schools.

Health, wellbeing and inclusion staff are required to wear face masks, unless an exemption applies, including the need for ‘clear enunciation or visibility of their mouth’ (for example, when undertaking a speech therapy intervention or working with individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing) as part of teaching.

A combination of strategies is required to limit transmission of COVID-19 for staff and students who are unable to wear face masks. Other transmission strategies, such as physical distancing, reduced class density, outdoor learning and ventilation can be enhanced, noting that any additional or enhanced strategies should be aimed at the whole school or class population.

Staff members unable to wear face masks should avoid providing supervision or care to students with COVID-19 symptoms.

Who will supply the face masks?

It is anticipated that most staff and students will supply their own face masks. Schools should have a supply of single-use face masks to provide to students and staff if they are unable to access one themselves.

What is an acceptable face covering?

The Department of Health has advice about face masks, including:

  • which different types can be used
  • how to make your own
  • how to safely wear one.

A face mask must cover the nose and mouth. Face shields, scarves or bandanas do not meet these requirements.

When should staff be wearing other PPE?

See Personal protective equipment guide for education settings.

Question Answer

Do we need to conduct temperature screening of students upon arrival at school?

Based on the advice of the Chief Health Officer, given the current levels of community transmission in Victoria, mandatory temperature testing of all students on arrival at school will not be required.

Question Answer

Where should hand sanitiser be available within the school?

Hand sanitiser should be available at entry points to classrooms and other areas such as front offices, libraries and staffrooms. Staff should be aware of education on hand hygiene.

How should hygiene be promoted within the school?

All staff and students should undertake regular hand hygiene, particularly on arrival at school, before and after eating, and after blowing their nose, coughing, sneezing or using the toilet. This should be directed or supervised by staff where required.

Where soap and water are not readily available, hand sanitiser should be provided in every occupied room.

Posters encouraging hand hygiene should also be displayed.

Sharing of food is not permitted.

Question Answer

What assistance should be provided to staff working from home?

Working alone or in isolation from others presents hazards of which employees should be made aware, including impacts on mental wellbeing. Principals and school staff are encouraged to develop a program of regular contact with staff who are working from home. Schools are also encouraged to promote their employee assistance program (EAP).

Counselling is available from the EAP, which is a confidential, free-of-charge service for employees offered by AccessEAP. AccessEAP can be contacted 24/7 by calling 1800 818 728, making an online booking or using the EAP in Focus app.

Please see ‘Mental health and wellbeing’ and ‘Resources for principals and staff’ in the School Operations Guide, and the Agile Working Guidelines template.

Additional wellbeing resources to support staff are available on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Wellbeing Resources page of the CEVN website.

Question Answer

What are the restrictions on bookings?

Camps, excursions and incursions for Victorian schools are permitted. Camp providers can now take multiple school bookings; however, these should be minimised wherever possible.

What are the health and safety precautions for camps and excursions?

Staff and students attending camps will be required to meet any face mask requirements of an external provider/venue, including transport providers, unless a lawful exception applies.

Health and safety precautions to take into consideration are:

  • Consistent with the health and safety advice for all Victorian schools, schools should pursue a variety of strategies to support physical distancing among students and staff, where possible.
  • Staff must practise physical distancing between themselves and other staff members or adults and students wherever appropriate.
  • Creating student and staff camp ‘bubbles’, whereby student and staff groupings/cohorts are kept as static as possible with limited mixing of groups of students and staff, can minimise the risk of transmission between groups and aid containment in the event of a confirmed case.
  • To support this, large group activities should be avoided and use of communal facilities should be staggered, with thorough cleaning after each group use.

Do face masks need to be used while on camp?

All staff and students will be required to follow advice about the use of face masks as outlined in the School Operations Guide.
Staff and students attending external premises will be required to meet any face mask requirements of an external provider/venue, including transport providers, unless a lawful exception applies.

What are the documentation requirements for planning a camp or excursion?

Schools must ensure they conduct a camp and/or excursion risk assessment for the activity.

Schools that are planning or participating in school camps should include this element of the program in their COVIDSafe Plan.

All staff and students will need current emergency contact details registered before departing for a school camp. Permission forms will need to include updated information about COVID-19 and any procedures that will apply in the event of a child displaying COVID-19-like symptoms.

What are the requirements for collection of student contact details on excursions for contact tracing?

Excursion venues are responsible for managing record keeping for contact tracing in line with current public health directives. Venues are required to use electronic record keeping that connects with a digital system provided by Services Victoria.

An electronic or hard copy list of student names (full name required) and contact numbers must be provided to the venue. Students are not required to individually check in at the venue on the day.

Schools should contact venues prior to the excursion to discuss record keeping arrangements, particularly to clarify responsibility of entering student details into the digital system.

The Department of Health has strongly recommended that a contact number for each individual student (as per the student’s school file) is provided to venues for recording purposes. If providing a private contact number for a student poses a privacy risk or the contact number is unknown, the school’s 24-hour contact number may be used, but this should be the exception.

A parent consent form has been updated to assist with this.

What documentation do camp operators need?

Camp operators should develop and regularly review their COVIDSafe Plan to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission. In the event of a confirmed case, they should be informed by the Tourism and accommodation services sector guidance. These plans should be made available for schools to review before arrival on site.

What activities can we do on camps and excursions?

Schools and camp operators should consider the range of activities and facilities available, and recognise that some facilities and activities may need to be altered, deferred or delivered remotely to reduce COVID-19 transmission risk. Decisions regarding the types of activities that take place should take account of the potential risk associated with the activity, the level of community transmission and available modifications to minimise risk.

Who should not attend camp?

Any staff member or student who has been advised to isolate as a confirmed case of COVID-19, or quarantine as a close contact of a positive case of COVID-19, should not under any circumstances attend school camp. Staff and students should not attend camp if unwell.

What if someone displays COVID-19-like symptoms on camp?

Where a staff member or student is displaying COVID-19-like symptoms, those who have been sharing sleeping quarters with the symptomatic individual should be isolated from the rest of the group and undertake separate activities until the outcome of a COVID-19 test is known.

Anyone who develops symptoms during camp should be isolated and sent home for testing as soon as possible, with designated space(s) made available on the premises to support isolation where required.

What if someone is confirmed as a close contact while on camp?

If a staff member or student is identified as a close contact of a positive case of COVID-19, they will be sent home as soon as possible, with designated space(s) made available on the premises to support safe isolation.

Where staff or students become unwell or are identified as a close contact of a confirmed case, the wearing of appropriate PPE will be required. School camps should also have appropriate PPE available in case it is required by their staff, contractors or guests.

What if suspected or confirmed cases are linked to a school camp?

Schools should be prepared to notify the local diocesan education office when a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 is linked to a school camp. Schools will need to provide requested information and take required actions. Good record keeping, including accurate documentation of sleeping arrangements and any visitors, enables the prompt identification of individuals who may have been in contact with a confirmed case.

What are the requirements regarding hygiene, cleaning and shared areas on camp?

Reinforce hand hygiene practices and make sure there is access to handwashing facilities in all communal areas. Where soap and water are not readily available, hand sanitiser should be provided.

Cleaning and disinfection of communal facilities such as bathrooms and kitchens should occur at least twice a day, or more frequently when in high use by the group – including enhanced cleaning of high-touch surfaces.

Minimise numbers in shared rooms/dormitories where possible.

Parent volunteers are permitted, subject to normal arrangements and evidence of vaccination status, where volunteers are an integral part of the conduct of school camps, for example, when necessary to ensure adequate supervision or to provide medical care.

Ensure the highest hygiene practices among food handlers where these services are operating.

Question Answer

What are the key dates for mandatory vaccinations for school, childcare and early education services?

From 18 October 2021, in order to work at a school, childcare (including OSHC program) or early education service, you must be able to provide evidence to your employer that you meet one of the following:

  • have received your first COVID-19 vaccine dose by 18 October 2021
  • haven’t received any COVID-19 vaccine doses, but have a booking to receive your first by 25 October 2021
  • are fully vaccinated with two COVID-19 vaccine doses by 29 November 2021
  • have a medical exemption evidenced by an authorised medical practitioner.

Schools must take all reasonable steps to ensure a worker who is unvaccinated does not enter, or remain on, the school premises for the purposes of performing work at the school unless they are an exempt person.

Who is considered an education worker?

As per the Directions on mandatory COVID-19 vaccination, education workers include:

  • principals, teachers, administration and education support staff, casual relief teachers and pre-service teachers
  • volunteers who attend an education facility and work in close proximity to children, students or staff (including parent helpers)
  • students on placement at an education facility
  • persons contracted to work at an education facility who will or may be in close proximity to children, students or staff, whether or not engaged by the education operation (includes IT personnel, NDIS providers and auditors).

On what grounds is there a medical exemption from vaccination?

You may receive a medical exemption if you are unable to be vaccinated because you:

  • have a medical contraindication to COVID-19 vaccines
  • have an acute medical illness, including COVID-19 infection for up to six months (or earlier if the medical practitioner specifies an earlier date).

The request for exemption must be accompanied by evidence from an authorised medical practitioner, such as a medical certificate or a letter stating you are exempt and the reason. For individual circumstances, please speak to your medical practitioner.

What if I have had a previous COVID-19 infection? Am I exempt?

For either a first or second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, there is no requirement to delay vaccination beyond recovering from the acute infection and being appropriately cleared from isolation. Vaccination should be offered to all persons who have previously had a COVID-19 infection, regardless of a person’s history of symptomatic or asymptomatic infection. There is no need to provide a negative PCR test or serology prior to vaccination after infection.

In some cases, a doctor may recommend to delay receiving a vaccination due to ongoing symptoms of the infection. Where these longer term symptoms are experienced, it is recommended that vaccination should not be delayed beyond six months due to waning natural immunity and indications that the vaccine is well-tolerated, with no worsening of symptoms.

How will vaccination records be collected?

School-based staff

School-based education workers must report their vaccination status in eHR or Personnel Record System (PRS). Please see short videos explaining the process for updating vaccination status in eHR/MyHR and PRS. An easy-to-follow quick reference guide is also available for eHR.

Schools are required to collect supporting documentation to prove vaccination status. Evidence can be provided via a COVID-19 digital certificate outlining vaccination status or an exemption (along with any other supporting documents). A COVID-19 digital certificate can be uploaded to eHR. Documents cannot be uploaded to PRS and should instead be stored with an employee’s existing personnel file. Staff are to provide a copy of their digital certificate for storage. You can also add your vaccination status to the state government Service Victoria app.

MACS-engaged contractors

Schools will not be required to collect vaccination information for staff or contractors whose contracts are managed centrally by MACS. Vaccination information of staff and contractors engaged by MACS will be collected and held by MACS.

This includes specialist technicians and other resources engaged by MACS. MACS will ensure that only vaccinated cleaners, technicians and other resources attend school premises.

Neither MACS nor schools are required to collect, record or hold vaccination information about construction services and works contractors working within a designated construction site secured separately by a contractor (for example, by fencing or hoarding) from the rest of the school site.

How should vaccination information be collected for volunteers and visitors working on school sites?

Schools must collect, record and hold vaccination information for all workers and volunteers (not already collected and held by MACS) on school sites who will or may be in close proximity to children, students or staff.

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • casual relief teachers
  • casual school employees, including casual written examination supervisors employed by schools
  • providers of incursions
  • Breakfast Club suppliers
  • IT personnel (except those not engaged by schools and managed centrally by MACS as per above)
  • students on placement
  • construction services or works contractors not working within a designated construction site secured separately by a contractor from the rest of the school site (for example, for maintenance services or works)
  • external therapists, NDIS providers or other allied health staff
  • bus drivers and supervisors (if they enter the school premises)
  • auditors
  • volunteers performing volunteer work at the school (for example, parent helpers)
  • all other persons contracted, engaged or requested to perform work at a school site, regardless of their employer (with the exception of those whose vaccination information will be collected and held by MACS).

Where a school engages with a provider who employs a number of workers on school sites (for example, Breakfast Club or OSHC provider), it will be necessary for the school to request that the provider collects vaccination information from its employees and provides that information to the school. In many cases, this will mean that the provider collects all its staff’s vaccination information and provides copies of these documents to the school. Operators may be reasonably requested by the school to provide such information for evidence compliance.

All volunteers and visitors working on school sites listed above must provide vaccination information when attending on site. If unable to provide evidence of vaccination, they must be directed to leave the school.

Where a school has collected information that a volunteer or visitor working on school sites is fully vaccinated, schools are not required to collect any further vaccination information from them.

Only volunteers and visitors working on school sites who have provided information that they are fully vaccinated workers or exempt persons are allowed to work on site after 29 November 2021. It is not necessary for schools to assess the validity of medical exemption certificates.

What are the categories of persons who do not need to supply their vaccination status to schools?

Schools do not need to collect, record or hold vaccination information for the following categories of visitors or volunteers:

  • delivery personnel
  • visiting parents and carers, unless they are visiting a school to perform volunteer work (for example, parent helpers)*
  • workers employed by external OSHC providers engaged by the school because that information must be collected by the provider
  • a person carrying out assessments of an oral or performance examination as part of the Victorian Certificate of Education or International Baccalaureate, or a person working as a venue coordinator for those examinations
  • visitors or volunteers working on school sites who are not, or are not likely to be, in close proximity to children, students or staff (for example, if work is performed wholly after hours and no staff or students are on site or likely to be on site).

*If a parent is at the school for a minimal amount of time (e.g. pick-up and drop-off), evidence of vaccination is not required. If a parent is required on site for a meeting, in this instance, it is discouraged and should be conducted virtually. If parents must attend on site (e.g. one-hour meeting), evidence of vaccination status is required and a copy should be collected by the school.

Question Answer

Can students use shared equipment?

Playgrounds

Playgrounds remain open for all Victorian Catholic schools.

Shared equipment

Schools should consider the necessity of using shared equipment at this time. Such items may include shared computers, class sets of teaching and learning materials, and musical instruments. If used, strict hand hygiene should be followed before and after use. Risk can be further minimised by users of high-touch shared equipment wiping items down where appropriate, for example, using a disinfectant/detergent wipe or cloth.

Musical instruments

Singing and playing wind and brass instruments can occur if Department of Health recommendations to reduce transmission risk are followed. Recommendations include moving outdoors, increasing ventilation, physical distancing of two metres between performers and five metres between performers and the audience, reducing the number of people or reducing the length of time an activity is conducted. See ‘Singing, brass and woodwind classes’ in the School Operations Guide and COVID-19 transmission from air-circulating, wind-moving devices and activities.

Swimming pools

  • Hydrotherapy pools are open.
  • Outdoor and indoor pools can be used.
  • There is no limit on participant numbers where there is exclusive use of a pool facility by a single school at any one time for educational purposes.
  • Where there is not exclusive use of a pool by a single school, the requirements of the Open Premises Directions apply. Schools should speak to swimming pool venues to determine how restrictions apply to the activity being undertaken.

Can people other than students use school facilities?

Playgrounds

Playgrounds remain open for community use.

Community facilities (including school facilities made available for community use and sports groups)
Use of school facilities, such as ovals and pools, by community and sports groups is permitted if the use aligns with the Open Premises Directions for the relevant activity, including the application of required density limits. Use of facilities during school hours should minimise mixing between those using school facilities and school staff and students (e.g. a swim school’s exclusive use of a school pool and change room). See ‘use of school facilities’ advice in the School Operations Guide for cleaning requirements.

What additional measures can be put in place to minimise risk of transmission?

Promote fresh airflow indoors and maximise use of outdoor learning areas or environments with enhanced ventilation where possible and as practical depending on weather conditions.

Are there additional precautions for the provision of first aid during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Physical distancing is not practical when providing direct care. In this situation, standard precautions, including hand hygiene, are important for infection control.

Standard precautions are advised when coming into contact with someone for the purpose of providing routine care and/or assistance (for example, the use of gloves for nappy-changing, toileting or feeding).

Standard precautions as per the Department of Education and Training’s Infectious Diseases policy and related policies should be adopted when providing first aid. For example, use gloves and an apron when dealing with blood or body fluids/substances. Use a mask when treating anyone displaying COVID-19-related symptoms. Always wash hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser before and after performing routine care or first aid.

How do I treat a staff member or student displaying COVID-19-related symptoms?

See ‘Management of an unwell student or staff member’ in the School Operations Guide.

Can structured workplace learning (SWL) and work experience continue?

SWL and work experience placements can recommence. SWL and work experience in high-risk settings are recommended to be deferred. See ‘Structured workplace learning (SWL) and work experience’ in the School Operations Guide for advice.

What are the requirements for signing in at schools?

See ‘QR codes and visitors to schools’ in the School Operations Guide.

QR-codes.png

Further information about QR code set-up can be found at Register to use the Victorian Government QR code service.

What are the requirements for QR code use on school transport?

School bus services across the state will continue to operate as normal. Students are not required to check in via a QR code service when travelling on private school buses or disability transport services; however, school bus services are required to keep accurate records of students and staff (including drivers) accessing these services should this information be required for contact tracing. For more information, see School bus services.

A coronavirus infection can cause mild to severe respiratory illness. Symptoms can range from mild illness to pneumonia. Affected people may experience:

  • Fever
  • Acute respiratory infection (shortness of breath or cough)

The World Health Organization has confirmed that the main driver of transmission is from symptomatic patients, through coughing or sneezing. Transmission by people without symptoms is possible, but rare.

Employers have a duty to provide and maintain, so far as is reasonably practicable, a working environment that is safe and without risks to the health of employees. This includes identifying risks to health or safety associated with potential exposure to the coronavirus.

 

Coronavirus Information

CECV recommends obtaining information relating to Coronavirus from the following reputable sources:

 

Department of Education and Training (DET)

The Department of Education has created a Coronavirus advice page with up-to-date information for schools, principals and teachers: https://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/department/Pages/coronavirus.aspx#link2.

 

Department of Health and Human Services

For general Coronavirus disease information including travel advice: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus

Information for the public about novel coronavirus: Information for the public - novel coronavirus

Factsheets and posters in English, Simplified Chinese and Vietnamese to support schools and their communities: Information for the education sector - novel coronavirus

 

WorkSafe Victoria

Exposure to coronavirus in workplaces – Safety Alert

 

Department of Health – Australian Government

Coronavirus (COVID-19) health alert - Australian Government

 

Smartraveller

Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice

 

World Health Organisation

Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) video

Coronavirus Myth busters page

Helping children cope with stress during the 2019-nCoV outbreak poster

Getting your workplace ready for COVID-19

 

Alternative Suppliers – cleaning supplies

Employee Assistance Program

If staff or family members need support or need professional assistance, the Employee Assistance Program through AccessEAP is available on 1800 81 87 28 or (02) 8247 9191. There is also the Principal EAP through Converge International available on 1300 687 327.