Novel Coronavirus – Information for Schools and Parents

The Department of Education has provided information on the Novel Coronavirus directly via email today to all non-government approved authorities for distribution across their staff and parents.

A copy of the factsheets are also available on the Department of Education website, here, for schools to share.  The Australian Government Department of Health also has a range of information here.  Further information is available from State and Territory Health Departments.

Individual schools will need to consider the information from these agencies and their knowledge of their school communities to determine what, if any, action might be appropriate to protect the health and safety of their students and staff.

UPDATE (28 January 2020): – The NSW Department of Education has amended their guidance to government schools in NSW and is now requesting that children who have visited China in the last two weeks not attend school or childcare services until 14 days have lapsed from their date of departure from China.  See media release here.  Schools in other States and Territories should monitor the practices of the education department in their jurisdiction.  It remains up to individual Christian schools to make determinations which they think appropriate to their circumstances.

UPDATE (30 January 2020): The Commonwealth Government has updated its advice to Australians about the novel coronavirus, based on the latest medical advice.  They now advise that:

  • People who have been in contact with confirmed novel coronavirus cases must be isolated in their home for 14 days after exposure.
  • Returned travellers who have been in Hubei Province of China must be isolated in their home for 14 days after leaving Hubei Province other than for seeking individual medical care.

For up to date information from the Commonwealth Department of Health monitor their website here.  Note that some of the factsheets and resources have yet to be updated to reflect this advice.

UPDATE (1 February 2020): There has been a further update from the Commonwealth Government.  From 1 February, in line with national health advice

  • If you are a returned traveller from mainland China (excluding Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan), you must isolate yourself at home for 14 days after leaving China. This also applies to those who have transited through mainland China.
  • If you have had contact with any confirmed case of novel coronavirus, you need to isolate yourself for 14 days from the date of your last exposure to the case.

Being isolated at home means that you need to stay at home for the full period, unless you need medical attention. You cannot go to work, school, or public areas, and should not use public transportation, ride share or taxis. Visitors to the home should be discouraged.