Coronavirus COVID-19 Precautionary Measures

Latest News Thursday, 12 Mar 2020

Dear Parents I am writing to keep you updated on our College’s response to COVID-19. I earnestly request that parents read the attached links and if travelling overseas, be aware of those countries that require travellers to self-quarantine on return. Please note that this information is changing daily.

The information outlined below has been gleaned from The Department of Health, The Department of Education, Smart Traveller and The Association of Independent Schools. Members of the Board of Management and the College leadership team have met to discuss:

  • Containment - including a comprehensive action plan covering various school operational aspects
  • Mitigation procedures (for low and severe scenarios)
  • Communication with families 

Schools and school systems have developed measured responses based on a compilation of good information from the following links: 

CoronaVirus - Australian Department of Health:

NSW Department of Education Guidance:

Smart Traveller

There are a number of resources available from both Departments and parents are advised to read these carefully if they are unsure as to what applies to them. In summary, the Department of Health Communications Policy states:

Any staff, student or parent who has left, or transited through the following countries is excluded from child care services, school or work for 14 days from the date they left the country:

  • Mainland China - since 1 February
  • Iran - since 1 March
  • The Republic of Korea (South Korea) - since 5 March.
  • Italy 

Any confirmed case of COVID-19 will be excluded until they are medically cleared to return.

Close contacts of a confirmed case of COVID-19 will be excluded for 14 days since last contact with the confirmed case.

Students and parents who have returned to Australia and have shown no symptoms during the 14-day self-isolation period are able to return to school or work.

The NSW Ministry of Health has processes in place to identify any close contacts of cases confirmed in Australia. It is advising these close contacts about not attending work, school or early childhood and childcare services.

Countries deemed moderate risk

The Australian Government considers the following countries to be at moderate risk for COVID-19:

  • Cambodia
  • Hong Kong
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • Singapore
  • Thailand

If you have recently travelled to these countries, monitor your health for 14 days after leaving that country. If you develop a fever, cough or other flu like symptoms, seek medical advice urgently and isolate yourself.

As the list of impacted countries continues to change, please take this into account as you consider upcoming international travel plans, including with your families. We know this will become increasingly relevant as we approach the upcoming school holidays.

Health precautions

The Australian Government Department of Health has recommended that everyone should practise good hygiene habits to protect against infections. Good hygiene habits include:

  • washing hands often with soap and water
  • using a tissue and covering one’s mouth when coughing or sneezing 
  • reducing contact with others
  • avoiding touching one’s face

The College cleaners are using disinfectant to clean all toilet areas. In addition, all toilet areas are being cleaned three times a day. Additional precautionary measures will be adopted if and when the Department of Health advises it is necessary to do so. 

People with Coronavirus may experience:

  • fever
  • flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and fatigue
  • shortness of breath

If you or your children are experiencing any of the above symptoms please seek urgent medical attention. Students and staff who are unwell will be prevented from attending school until cleared by a medical practitioner. Parents are also asked to contact the College if children require quarantine. 

In Summary 

The emergence of Coronavius has led to a great deal of panic in the Australian community. However, the College is taking all necessary precautionary measures and we are well prepared for any changes in circumstances that may eventuate. 

We will continue to monitor the situation and modify our protocols and practice in line with recommendations from the relevant authorities as they become available and we will keep you informed.

We appreciate all members of the school community cooperating with any procedures the school puts in place and also being mindful of each of your own situations when coming or sending children to the school, including if you or close family have recent been travelling to high risk areas or may have come into contact with potentially infected individuals.

Should you have further queries or questions, please contact your medical practitioner or visit the Australian Government Department of Health Website via the following link:

Phil Roberts

Principal, Mount Sinai College 

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