Mitcham Girls High School

24 January COVID-19 Update

24-Jan-22A letter regarding plans for managing COVID-19 in the 2022 School Year.

Dear parent/carer

SA Health and the Department for Education has provided guidance on how to manage cases of COVID-19 in schools, preschools and early childhood education and care (ECEC) centres.

There will be new contact tracing and close contact arrangments in education from 31 January 2022.

The new arrangements recognise the importance of providing quality education and care for our students while minimising the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Schools will remain open if there is a case of COVID-19 under the new arrangements.

It's very important that you notify us immediately if your child tests positive to COVID-19.

If a student or teacher in your child's class tests positive for COVID-19, they will be deemed a classroom contact and the following will occur:

  • We will notify all parents in that class of the positive case.
  • All students without symptoms can continue attending school. No rapid antigen testing will be required.
  • If your child develops any symptoms (even mild) please keep them home from school and get a COVID-19 test.

Any student who has worked 1:1 with a COVID positive staff member (more than 15 mins, indoors, in close proximity and where face masks are not able to be worn) will be asked to complete 7 days of rapid antigen testing ('test to stay') each morning before attending school. We will provide you with the testing kits at no charge. Students that test positive must not attend school.

Alternatively, if you don't want your child to complete the 7-day testing, they can quarantine for 7 days. The Department for Education is developing online learning resources for students in years reception to 10 that can be completed during quarantine.

The Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) has recommended that classroom contacts should avoid the following between days 1 to 7 of exposure:

  • Attendance at OSHC where possible.
  • Attending extra-curricular-based activities for 7 days (such as camps, excursions, interschool sport, combined choir etc - noting that most of these activities have been temporarily suspended until week 4).

The CPHO advises classroom contacts should do the following to minimise risk to others, when outside of the school setting between days 1 to 14 of exposure:

  • Avoid high risk settings or COVID Management Plan events.
  • Wear a surgical mask around others (where age appropriate) and outside your home.
  • Avoid contact with vulnerable people outside of your workplace or family, where possible.
  • Avoid non-essential activities when possible (eg where there are lots of people, inside, in close contact).
  • Avoid shared spaces and maintain physical distance.

Our staff will also undergo 7 days of rapid antigen testing (test to stay) in the event that they are in a classrom with a student or colleague who tests positive.

It's vitally important that you please:

  • Keep your child/ren home if they are:
    • Unwell.
    • Experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.
    • Any other member of the household has COVID-19.
    • They are a close contact for a person who has COVID-19 and are required to quarantine.
  • Notify us ASAP if your child/ren tests positive for COVID-19.
  • Let your child (if in Years 3 to 12) know they will be required to wear a face mask while indoors at school. We will have supplies for them to wear if they don't already have one.

These new settings will be in place until the end of week 4 of term 1. However, with the rapidly changing nature of the pandemic, this may be reviewed or changed if and when needed. As always, we must remain flexible and responsive.

I understand you may have a lot of questions about this information. We'll continue to provide you information as soon as we have it.

Thank you for your understanding and support in implementing these temporary measures as we continue to adjust to this rapidly changing pandemic.

Linda Richardson
& the Senior Leadership Team

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