COVID-19 isolation requirements
The Victorian Government has announced the end of the Pandemic Declaration and associated Pandemic Orders. The Department of Health recommends that a person who tests positive for COVID-19 should inform those with whom they have recently been in contact, including their workplace, schools and household. The following settings, based on advice from the Department of Health, will apply from 11.59pm Wednesday 12 October 2022.
It is strongly recommended that students:
- who test positive to COVID-19 stay home and isolate for 5 days
- should not attend school after 5 days if still symptomatic
- who are symptomatic but have not tested positive should not attend school
- advise the school of the COVID-19 positive test result
Where students become symptomatic at school they should:
- be collected by their parents/carers
- undergo testing for COVID-19
Rapid antigen testing & Reporting positive COVID-19 test results
It is recommended that rapid antigen tests (RATs) are used by students and staff when symptomatic. The Department of Health recommends that all Victorians should report their RAT result to the Department of Health online, or by calling 1800 675 398.
Students (or their parents/carers) should also report a positive result to their school, either through the COVID Test portal or by phone or written notification.
Where a parent/carer informs the school by phone or written notification, the school should complete the Schools COVID Case Management Tool
Schools will continue to strongly recommend the use of ventilation systems be in use across the school offices and classrooms. For further information view Ventilation for School Safety Factsheet
Current advice from the Victorian government is available at Face masks. Staff and students who wish to wear a face mask should be supported to do so, and schools should continue to make face masks available for staff, students and visitors. The Department of Health recommends that masks should be worn by a person who is a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 when leaving home. Additionally, the Department of Health recommends that masks should be worn by a person who has COVID-19 for at least 7 days after a positive test when they need to leave home.
Infection prevention and control
All staff, students and visitors to schools should practise good hand hygiene, particularly on arrival to school, before and after eating, after blowing their nose, coughing, sneezing or using the toilet. Staff should direct or supervise young students where required.
Students who may be medically at-risk
Parents/carers are advised to ensure students with medical needs have an up-to-date Student Health Support Plan and accompanying condition-specific health management plan (such as an Asthma Action Plan), based on individualised medical advice from the student’s medical or health practitioner, and in consultation with the student and parents and carers.
Source: Victorian Government/Department of Education and Training (13 Oct 2022). Covid-19 Advice for Victorian Government Schools, accessed 18th October 2022
Pandemic Declaration Ends
The Victorian Government and the Department of Education and Training has announced some important changes to COVID Safe measures for schools that will apply until further notice.
Victoria’s pandemic declaration will end at 11.59pm Wednesday 12 October.
What does this mean for you?
✅ You are no longer required, but strongly recommended to stay at home if you have symptoms or test positive for COVID
✅ Targeted financial support is available to eligible healthcare workers who isolate if they have COVID
✅ Under the Department of Health’s existing Secretary Directions, healthcare workers will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19
✅ Support is still available through the COVID Positive Pathways program to the most vulnerable in our community
For more details, visit: https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/changes-pandemic-management
Source: Premier of Victoria accessed 13th October 2022
Vaccinations – 2023 boosters
All Victorians who have not had a COVID vaccination or confirmed infection in the past six months are now eligible for a booster. This is irrespective of how many prior doses a person has received. The national eligibility change follows advice from ATAGI.
For those not infected or vaccinated in the past six months, a 2023 booster is recommended for:
- All adults aged 65 years and over
- Adults 18-64 years who have medical comorbidities or disability with significant or complex health needs
For those not infected or vaccinated in the past six months, a 2023 booster should be considered for:
- Adults 18-64 with no risk factors for severe COVID
- Children and adolescents aged 5-17 who have medical comorbidities or disability with significant or complex health needs
Victorians are encouraged to book a free booster appointment through their local GP or pharmacy. You can find your nearest vaccination provider through the Vaccine Clinic Finder.
RATs available through local councils
All Victorians are eligible to pick up two free packets of RATs through their local council.
The council RAT distribution program is currently operating across more than 400 local sites, such as libraries and council customer service centres. The program is now open to all Victorians with all eligibility requirements now removed.
Individuals can collect up to two packets for themselves plus up to two packets for each household member per visit while people with a disability or their carer can collect up to four packets of tests.
Testing, especially with any compatible COVID symptoms, is critical to help with early detection and to protect others. It also allows for appropriate care and timely treatment.
Contact details for participating councils can be found at the Coronavirus website.
Staff and students are strongly recommended to ensure they keep up-to-date with all recommended and available COVID-19 vaccinations as vaccinations are the best way to protect individuals, families and school communities from the severe effects of COVID-19 and reduce the spread of the virus.
Vaccination is no longer mandatory for staff or visitors in any Victorian school, including specialist schools.
ATAGI also recommends all people aged 6 months and over to be vaccinated against influenza (flu). Flu vaccine can be administered at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine. However, if a person is not yet eligible for their next recommended COVID-19 vaccination, flu vaccine should be given as soon as possible.
Source: State of Victoria Department of Education and Training retrieved 12/7/22
Source: State Government of Victoria retrieved 12/7/22
24/7 COVID_19 Hotline
If you suspect you may have COVID-19 call the dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398 – open 24 hours, 7 days. The COVID Safe Information hotline diverts to the national hotline every day from 8pm to 8am. For emergencies only call Triple Zero (000).
DET COVID_19 Hotline
Ask questions about COVID_19 and education settings by calling 1800 338 663 (8:30am to 5pm Monday to Friday, 10am to 3pm Saturday and Sunday, excluding public holidays).
Keeping Safe – What you need to keep doing!
- Practice good hygiene and regularly and thoroughly wash your hands.
- Recommended to carry a face mask when you leave home unless you have a lawful reason not to.
- Wear a face mask when required, unless a lawful exception applies.
- If you feel unwell do not go to work or school.
- Contact school and report any Covid_19 related absences.
- If you are worried you will lose pay while you wait for test result or you have tested positive and need to self-isolate you may be eligible for a worker support payment.
- If your condition worsens contact your GP or a health professional. If you become very unwell and are having trouble breathing contact triple zero, you may need to be admitted to hospital.
Source: Victorian Government. Staying Safe accessed 09 September 2022
Management of COVID-19 In Schools
Visit the Victorian Government Management of COVID_19 in schools site for up-to-date information on how schools will manage confirmed or suspected COVID_19 cases.
COVID_19 Safety Management Plan
For further Department of Health and Human Services Daily Updates visit:
For further Department of Health and Human Services translated information visit Translated Coronavirus (COVID_19) Resources
For advice and assistance in relation to Coronavirus for parents/guardians/carer, please visit the Department of Education and Training (DET) COVID_19 Advice for Parents/Carers page.
All staff including contractors, service providers and volunteers of the Department, and this Victorian government school (our school), must comply with Victorian privacy law and this policy.
In Victorian government schools the management of ‘personal information’ and ‘health information’ is governed by the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic) and Health Records Act 2001 (Vic) (collectively, Victorian privacy law). This policy explains how our school collects and manages personal and health information, consistent with Victorian privacy law.