NEWS | 8 July 2021

COVID-19 Information & Updates

Get up-to-date information and updates about Novel Coronavirus on the NSW Health website.

Diocesan Directors, RI & PJP Principals

If you are a Diocesan Director or RI & PJP Principal there are resources for School & System Leaders available through our COVID-19 Response Portal.
For instructions on how to log in please see this article.

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Current Advice


Last updated 15 August 2021

The NSW Premier announced that, in addition to Greater Sydney, stay-at-home rules apply to all schools in regional NSW from 5pm 14 August to 12.01am 22 August. This replaces any existing orders in regional NSW.

Following updated health advice from the Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant about the growing risk to the community stay-at-home orders will apply to all people who live in these areas.

Parents and carers in these LGAs must keep children – across primary and secondary school – at home unless they need to be at school. Schools (including outside of school hours care) are open for any child that needs it.

Early childhood education and care services – including family day care residences and venues – may continue to operate.

Parents and carers in the Blacktown, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool and Parramatta LGAs, as well as select suburbs in the Penrith LGA, are strongly encouraged to keep their children at home if they are able to do so, in order to limit movement in the community. This includes Bayside, Burwood and Strathfield LGAs of 5pm 12 August.

The stay-at-home order has been extended for Greater Sydney until 28 August 2021. This will mean 2 separate guidelines for schools depending on their location.

The guidelines are separated as those for:

All families are encouraged to discuss the changes with their schools if needed.

All families are encouraged to monitor the  NSW Government’s latest COVID-19 news and updates for locations where there may have been exposure to COVID-19 and adhere to the advice as appropriate.

NSW Health regularly updates its advice.

We will provide additional updates as the current situation evolves.

HSC exam advice

Updated 6 August 2021

NESA has announced a number of changes to the 2021 HSC timetables.

For more information, refer to HSC advice.

Travelling between areas with a stay-at-home order

Last updated at 11 August 2021

Under the new Public Health Order, if you live in the Blacktown, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool and Parramatta local government areas (LGAs), and select suburbs in the Penrith LGA, you cannot leave the local government area that you live in to go to work or school unless you are an  authorised worker  or your child needs to attend school because they cannot be cared for or educated at home.

From Monday 19 July, all public transport services within Greater Sydney (including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour areas) will run to a reduced timetable. School services may be impacted. For further information to help you plan transportation refer to Transport NSW COVID-19 safer travel guidance.

If you live in regional and rural areas where there is no stay-at-home order active, you must not enter Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour LGAs, or other regional LGAs with a stay-at-home order in place, unless you have a reasonable excuse.

Facilitating attendance at school (where the student cannot learn from home) or to attend early childhood education is a reasonable excuse to enter an LGA with a stay-at-home rule under the Public Health Order.

Facilitating arrangements for access to, and contact between parents and children or siblings is also a reasonable excuse to enter Greater Sydney or a regional LGA with a stay-at-home rule in place under the Public Health Order.

If you enter these areas for any reason stay at home rule will also apply to you for 14 days after you were last in any of these areas.

This means that you will need to stay at your place of residence for 14 days, even if it is in a regional area, unless you have a reasonable excuse. Attending school or early childhood education is a reasonable excuse.

At all times, please continue to:

  • closely monitor for symptoms for COVID-19 and immediately get tested should you have the mildest of symptoms, regardless of where you live or attend school. If you get tested for COVID-19 because you have symptoms or if you have been directed by NSW Health to do so, you must isolate at home until receiving your test result
  • refer to the NSW Government list of case locations and act on the guidance from NSW Health if you have been to any of these venues.

Travel between state and territory borders

Updated 13 August 2021

Students and staff in border communities can continue to attend NSW schools at this time, except for the following reasons:

  • They must remain at home if they are unwell, even with the mildest of symptoms. If they are unwell they must receive a negative COVID test and be symptom-free before returning to school.
  • If they have been to a venue of concern they must comply with the self-isolation and testing requirements as directed by the relevant Health Department.

All students and staff that cannot attend school or work due to interstate border disruptions will be supported to learn and work from home.

There may be some disruption for students and staff crossing interstate borders if they have been to a ‘hotspot’ in NSW.

Students and staff from ACT

The ACT has entered into a seven-day lockdown from 5.00pm today, 12 August 2021. There are arrangements in place for NSW/ACT border residents. Staff who live in the NSW/ACT border in one of the approved postcodes are able to attend work for an approved essential reason under the lockdown restrictions, which includes school-based staff. NSW/ACT border residents are required to carry identification at all times to provide proof of residency.

Students who are residents of the ACT can only attend school if they are children of essential workers, vulnerable or need to perform essential activities that must be undertaken under supervision (eg. Year 12 critical examinations).

If an ACT resident is required to travel outside of the border region, they will be required to quarantine and follow the advice available on the COVID-19 website.

Any staff and students who have visited  NSW COVID-19 affected area seeking to enter the ACT are required to compete the online exemption form within 72 hours prior to arriving in the ACT and are required to enter quarantine immediately for 14 days or until advised by ACT Health. Exemptions may be granted to ACT residents, further advice should be sought through ACT Government.

All students and staff that cannot attend NSW schools for work and education due to interstate border disruptions will be supported to learn and work from home. Further information is available on the ACT website.

Students and staff who have visited ACT

If anyone in NSW has been to the ACT on or after 12.01am Thursday 5 August 2021, you must follow the stay at home rules for 14 days since you were last there and can only leave home with a reasonable excuse.

Staff and students who have visited the ACT since this time can continue to attend NSW schools for work and education as a reasonable excuse.

If you enter NSW on or after 5pm on Thursday 12 August 2021 and you have been in the ACT in the previous 14 days, you must complete the NSW entry declaration form within the 24 Hour period before you enter NSW or on entry. You are required to complete a declaration form once every 72 hours. For more information, please visit the NSW interstate travellers page.

Students and staff from Victoria

The border bubble remains in effect between NSW and Victoria.

Staff and students living and working in the border bubble can continue to attend NSW schools for work and education, with education being a permitted reason.

However from 6pm Friday 13 August 2021, staff and students who live in the cross border community aged 18 years and over must now obtain a Cross border community – Extreme Risk Permit to enter Victoria for permitted reasons.

Border community residents applying for a Cross border community – Extreme Risk Permit are reminded to check the application conditions and need to re-apply for a permit every 14 days.

Children and teenagers under 18 years of age are exempt from this requirement , but they can only travel across the border for permitted reasons.

The City of Wagga Wagga, Hay Shire Council, Lockhart Shire Council and Murrumbidgee Council are no longer included in the cross border bubble since 11.59pm 27 July 2021. Residents will need to apply for an exemption to enter Victoria.

All students and staff that cannot attend NSW schools for work and education due to interstate border disruptions will be supported to learn and work from home.

Students and staff who live in or around the NSW/Victoria border should seek further advice through the NSW Government and Victorian Government COVID-19 websites.

Students and staff from Queensland

Additional restrictions are now in place for some Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the NSW/QLD border zone.

Staff who are Queensland residents who work and/or have visited Walgett, Bourke, Brewarrina, Ballina, Byron, Lismore or Richmond Valley LGAs in the last 14 days or since the  dentified start date (whichever is later) are unable to attend work in NSW schools. Teachers are not considered essential workers under the Queensland Border Restrictions Direction.

Students who are Queensland residents who attend school in Walgett, Bourke, Brewarrina, Ballina, Byron, Lismore or Richmond Valley LGAs can only attend school if they are the child of an essential worker or vulnerable.

Staff and students who are Queensland residents can continue to attend NSW schools in the Tweed and other border zone LGAs for work and education as a permitted purpose. These Queensland residents coming to NSW, including staff and students, will still need to complete the NSW declaration for entry form from Queensland every 72 hours. They will also need to complete a declaration form for NSW to re-enter Queensland from NSW. All staff and students will need to make sure they have all paperwork in order.

It is important to note that Queensland residents who enter Walgett, Bourke, Brewarrina, Ballina, Byron, Lismore or Richmond Valley LGAs for a non-essential service or go outside of the NSW border zone in NSW (or any other COVID-19 hotspot), will not be able to re-enter Queensland via road and will have to quarantine for 14 days in government arranged accommodation at your own expense when you come home by air.

All students and staff that cannot attend NSW schools for work and education due to interstate border disruptions will be supported to learn and work from home.

Students and staff who live in or around the NSW–Queensland border should seek further advice through the NSW interstate travellers and Queensland Government COVID-19 website.


Advice for Schools in Greater Sydney


Parents and carers in Greater Sydney (including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour) and regional local government areas under stay-at-home rules must keep children – across primary and secondary school – at home unless they need to be at school. Schools and outside of school hours care (OOSHC) services are open for any child that needs it.

Stay-at-home rules also apply for all regional NSW from 5pm 14 August until 12.01am 22 August. These orders replace existing orders for regional NSW.

Last updated 15 August 2021

Parents and carers must keep children – across primary and secondary school – at home unless they need to be at school. Schools and outside of school hours care (OOSHC) services are open for any child that needs it.

Following updated health advice from the Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant about the growing risk to the community, stay-at-home orders will apply to all people who live in these areas, or have been there on or after the time the areas entered stay-at-home rules.

Schools will have minimal supervision on site for those students who cannot be educated at home, for example if their parent or carer is an essential worker.

If you are working from home, and your child is able to be educated from home, please keep them at home.

All non–core curriculum related activities are to cease on school site.

Schools should not turn away any student from attending the school site in person. Schools will provide a program of learning for students who attend school, and students who are learning from home.

Schools should revert to their remote learning mode, using existing resources and programs.

Vulnerable staff and students

Schools should continue to support vulnerable staff and student cohorts, with vulnerable staff supported to work from home.

In-line with current health advice, the following persons are considered vulnerable:

  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people over the age of 50 with one or more chronic medical conditions
  • people aged 65 years or older with chronic medical conditions
  • people aged 70 years or older
  • people with a compromised immune system.

A reminder for all families

Students must not attend work or school if unwell, even with mild symptoms of COVID-19. Any person with any COVID-19 symptoms must be sent home and not return to school unless:

  • they have isolated for 10 days, when no medical certificate is available
  • they have a negative COVID-19 test result and are symptom free.

In circumstances where children have other medical reasons for recurrent symptoms, a letter from their GP is sufficient to negate the requirement for a negative test.

Anyone who is unwell with COVID-19 symptoms is strongly encouraged to get tested and self-isolate until a negative result is received. Find your local  testing clinics.

Masks and face coverings 

Last updated 19 July 2021

All students in Year 7 and above are required to wear masks or face coverings in all indoor settings while at school.

All staff, including early childhood education and care staff, are required to wear masks or face coverings in all indoor and outdoor settings while at school.

Some exemptions apply:

  • Staff are not required to wear a mask or face covering where it may affect the ability of a student or students to hear or engage with them, such as where students are hard of hearing.
  • Staff and students are not required to wear a mask where they are alone in an office or classroom.
  • Masks or face coverings are not required to be worn by a staff member or student who has a physical or mental health illness or condition, or disability, that makes wearing a mask unsuitable. For example, if they have a skin condition, an intellectual disability, autism or trauma, they are not required to wear a mask. Refer to Face mask rules on the NSW Government website.

Masks remain mandatory on public transport. This applies to students aged 13 years and over, and staff when travelling to and from school and during school excursions by public transport or by chartered or private transport services.

Visitors

Updated 5 August 2021

Non-essential visitors are not permitted on school sites.

Parents and carers must follow their school’s advice regarding changes to student drop off and pick up. This includes staying in the car when dropping off and picking up children if it is safe to do so. This does not apply to drop off and pick up from OOSHC as sign in and out procedures are required.

Parents should:

  • follow the physical distancing advice for their local area and avoid gathering outside of school gates
  • remain outside of school grounds (some exceptions may exist re SSP, vulnerable students or students with disabilities)
  • adhere to mask-wearing requirements and sign in using the Service NSW QR code when entering the school.

Practicum teachers and professional experience placement (including VET, TAFE, trade schools)

Last updated 26 July 2021

  • Catholic schools who choose to accommodate placements will only support final year pre-service teachers who are due to graduate by the end of this semester.
  • Professional experience placements are voluntary for all schools.
  • Schools will provide face-to-face learning opportunities for pre-service teachers where possible and mixed-delivery learning opportunities where face-to-face is not possible.
  • VET in schools work placement is deferred until further notice in line with NESA advice.
  • Trade schools, VET and TAFE courses will continue to be delivered virtually or deferred.
  • Some school-based apprenticeships and traineeships training can recommence. Refer to the Training Services website for more information.
  • Work experience is deferred.

QR code sign-in process for all staff and visitors

The NSW Government have introduced mandatory QR codes across a range of additional settings, including schools. All staff and visitors permitted on school sites will be required to check in and check out using the QR codes.

Parents and carers or other visitors to the school who do not have access to electronic devices for the purposes of QR check in can:

  • authorise another person to provide their contact details on their behalf
  • provide their details to the school to be recorded in an appropriate manner for provision to NSW Health should it be required. In these circumstances, please enter any paper records into an electronic format such as a spreadsheet within 12 hours to support NSW Health contact tracing should it be required.

School operations

Updated 20 July 2021

Further advice will be provided about opportunity class exams.

  • Early childhood services including outside of school hours care (OOSHC) can continue to operate for those who need it.
  • Families to be encouraged to keep their children at home wherever possible but no child will be turned away from school.
  • Implement revised attendance procedures incorporating use of “F” for students participating in learning from home.
  • Minimum staff on-site to oversee one unit of learning for students attending school site, noting that flexible syllabus requirements are in place.
  • Kindergarten orientation and transition activities are recommended to be delayed until later in Term 3 or early Term 4.
  • Canteens and uniform stores are not to operate.
  • No community use arrangements.
  • No multicultural celebrations.
  • Continued enhanced cleaning and hygiene supply arrangements.
  • No P&F activities on school sites.

Outside of school hours care providers

Principals should support outside of school hours care (OOSHC) providers using small spaces within schools to access larger spaces to support reduced mingling wherever possible.

Distribution of learning from home materials

Updated 23 July 2021

An important part of a successful learning from home program for many schools is providing families with hard copies of materials and activities both as a supplement to online work being undertaken and for families with limited ability to use or access technology. Schools are employing a range of innovative practices to make sure all students have access to the appropriate materials to continue their learning from home.

Specific advice for schools in the Bayside, Blacktown, Burwood, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool, Parramatta and Strathfield LGAs as well as select suburbs within the Penrith LGA

Updated 12 August 2021

Schools in these LGAs are strongly encouraged to support students and families staying at home by providing hard copy materials via post, or courier.

Bayside, Burwood and Strathfield LGAs are identified as areas of concern from 5pm, 12 August 2021.

Selected suburbs in the Penrith LGA included for increased restrictions from 8 August:

  • Caddens
  • Claremont Meadows
  • Colyton
  • Erskine Park
  • Kemps Creek
  • Kingswood
  • Mt Vernon
  • North St Marys
  • Orchard Hills
  • Oxley Park
  • St Clair
  • St Marys.

Other schools in Greater Sydney

Schools in Greater Sydney are encouraged to consider posting or couriering materials in the first instance. Schools can continue with their current practice if they are confident that they are distributing learning from home materials to families in a COVID safe and efficient way. This will include establishing minimal or no contact processes for parents to collect work and considering staggering times for work to be collected to minimise congestion.

HSC students

Updated 21 July 2021

NESA has announced a number of changes to the 2021 HSC timetables.

Catholic Schools NSW will provide more advice shortly to support schools in conducting COVID-safe examinations.

For more information, refer to HSC advice.

HSC students are not to access school sites unless absolutely necessary. HSC students collecting major works is considered essential.

HSC students collecting major works should:

  • Contact their school to make arrangements.
  • Adhere to strict COVID-safe practices when at school including physical distancing and wearing a mask or face covering.

HSC students who are unable to collect their project or transport their project home are encouraged to work on their journal, reflections and theory work until further advice is provided.

Teachers, students and parents can also contact the NESA COVID-19 support team on 1300 138 323 or covid19support@nesa.nsw.edu.au or visit  educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/covid-19-advice.

Boarding schools

Boarding schools must comply with all school requirements set out in these guidelines, and send all students home where possible. Further advice, developed with NSW Health, has been issued to boarding schools.

Specialist centres and support units

Schools will consider additional support for families with students with disability and supporting their specific needs during this time.

The Assisted School Travel Program (ASTP) will remain available for students who access the service and continue to attend school on site. Adhere to COVID safe practices in line with NSW Health advice..

Preschools managed by the Catholic sector

Catholic preschools can continue to operate as per advice for early childhood services.

All staff in Greater Sydney must wear masks in all indoor and outdoor settings. This now includes adults in all Early Childhood Education and Care settings, including when caring for and educating children.

Families are asked to support alternative arrangements for pick up and drop off from the school gates. Where this is not possible or unsafe, families should pick up from the door of the service, following COVID safe guidelines.

Ventilation

Open or well-ventilated spaces reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 because infectious particles are more quickly diffused in the open air than in spaces with less ventilation. Outdoor settings will be used where practicable.


Advice for Schools Outside Greater Sydney


Stay-at-home rules now apply to all of regional NSW. These orders replace existing orders in regional NSW.

Last updated 15 August 2021

From 5pm 14 August until 12.01am 22 August stay-at-home rules apply across regional NSW. This means that schools within these LGAs will need to follow the same restrictions as those in Greater Sydney.

Refer to Schools in Greater Sydney for details on the restrictions.

A reminder for all families

Students must not attend work or school if unwell, even with mild symptoms of COVID-19. Any person with any COVID-19 symptoms must be sent home and not return to school unless:

  • they have isolated for 10 days, when no medical certificate is available
  • they have a negative COVID-19 test result and are symptom free.

In circumstances where children have other medical reasons for recurrent symptoms, a letter from their GP is sufficient to negate the requirement for a negative test.

Anyone who is unwell with COVID-19 symptoms is strongly encouraged to get tested and self-isolate until a negative result is received. Find your local testing clinics.

Vulnerable staff and students 

Schools should continue to support vulnerable staff and student cohorts, with vulnerable staff supported to work from home.

In line with current health advice, the following persons are considered vulnerable:

  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people over the age of 50 with one or more chronic medical conditions
  • people aged 65 years or older with chronic medical conditions
  • people aged 70 years or older
  • people with a compromised immune system.

Masks and face coverings 

All students in Year 7 and above are required to wear masks or face coverings in all indoor settings while at school.

All staff, including early childhood education and care staff, are required to wear masks or face coverings in all indoor and outdoor settings while at school.

Some exemptions apply:

  • Staff are not required to wear a mask or face covering where it may affect the ability of a student or students to hear or engage with them, such as where students are hard of hearing.
  • Staff and students are not required to wear a mask where they are alone in an office or classroom.
  • Masks or face coverings are not required to be worn by a staff member or student who has a physical or mental health illness or condition, or disability, that makes wearing a mask unsuitable. For example, if they have a skin condition, an intellectual disability, autism or trauma, they are not required to wear a mask. Refer to Face mask rules on the NSW Government website.

Masks remain mandatory on public transport. This applies to students aged 13 years and over, and staff when travelling to and from school and during school excursions by public transport or by chartered or private transport services.

Visitors 

Non-essential visitors are not permitted in schools. When not under stay-at-home rules, some visitors are permitted in schools based on the guidelines that follow.

Parents and carers must follow their school’s advice regarding changes to drop off and pick up including staying in the car when dropping off and picking up children if safe to do so.

Parents should:

  • maintain physical distancing by avoiding gathering outside of school gates
  • remain outside of school grounds (note some exceptions may apply regarding schools for specific purposes, vulnerable students or students with disability)
  • follow mask-wearing requirements and sign in using the Service NSW QR code when entering the school.

QR code sign-in process for all staff and visitors

The NSW Government have introduced mandatory QR codes across a range of additional settings, including schools.

Parents and carers permitted on school sites for specific purposes are required to check in using the QR codes available and check out once they leave the school site.

Permitted activities

All schools outside of Greater Sydney are now under stay-at-home rules. To see what activities are permitted, please refer to Schools in Greater Sydney.

Exams 

Updated 15 August 2021

NESA has announced a number of changes to the 2021 HSC timetables.

For more information, refer to HSC advice.

Teachers, students and parents can also contact the NESA COVID-19 support team on 1300 138 323 or covid19support@nesa.nsw.edu.au or visit educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/covid-19-advice.

Boarding schools  

Boarding Schools must comply with all school requirements set out in these guidelines. Further advice, developed with NSW Health, has been issued to boarding schools.

Preschools managed by the Catholic sector

Families should follow normal sign in/out procedures and COVID safe guidelines when dropping off and picking up. Preschools should consider procedures to support pick up and drop off from the school gates. Where this is not possible or unsafe, families should pick up from the entrance of the preschool, following COVID-safe guidelines.

Masks are recommended for all staff working in Early Childhood Education and Care settings outside of the Greater Sydney region (including indoor and outdoor environments).


Term 3 COVID-19 advice for schools


Vaccination advice

The Australian Government’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout is currently progressing through its identified phases. Eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccination is listed on the Australian Government website.

Book an appointment to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Further information on the phased COVID-19 vaccination rollout is available on the NSW Government website.

A reminder for all schools and families

It is important that schools and families continue to follow the COVID-19 guidelines outlined on this page. In particular CSNSW wishes to highlight the following:

  • Students should not attend school if unwell, even with mild symptoms of COVID-19. Any person with any COVID-19 symptoms should be sent home and should not return until they have received a negative test result and are symptom-free. In circumstances where children have other medical reasons for recurrent symptoms a letter from their GP is sufficient to negate the requirement for a negative test.
  • Anyone who is unwell with COVID-19 symptoms is strongly encouraged to get tested and self-isolate until a negative result is received. Locations of testing clinics are available via the NSW government website.
  • Schools must continue to implement:
    • Personal hygiene, physical distancing, cleaning and record keeping practices.
    • Where possible to use outdoor areas weather permitting or large open spaces to enable adequate physical distancing.
    • All visitors to a school site must be well and symptom free, comply with sign-in arrangements, and the 1.5m physical distancing requirements.
  • Visitors to schools should maintain 1.5m distance from other people where practicable. Avoid congestion of groups of visitors in specific areas where possible.
  • All visitors to a school site must comply with sign-in arrangements. This includes acknowledging that they will comply with the COVID-19 requirements for visitors, contractors and service providers each time they visit. Visitors must also check in using the Service NSW QR code. Parents and carers who are dropping off or picking up students do not need to sign in or use the Service NSW QR code.

Schools are following health advice

Schools continue to be safe, and operations are in line with Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) and NSW Health advice. All students should be learning on campus unless they are unwell or have a medical certificate to support their absence or advised by NSW Health as per Public Health order.

Activities permitted at school will be conducted in a way that is safe and appropriate in the current environment. Activities that remain on hold will be reviewed at regular intervals and will recommence when appropriate based on health and other relevant advice.


Latest COVID-19 case locations in NSW


Students are reminded to remain vigilant and practise physical distancing and hygiene measures to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff are maintained.

Check the latest COVID-19 case locations in NSW and follow the recommended actions if you have been in a location where there may have been exposure to COVID-19. We encourage members of the community to monitor this site. Please follow the relevant health advice if you have been at any of the locations at the specified dates and times.

The locations along with the times and dates of identified cases can be found on the NSW COVID-19 website. There are more than 350 COVID-19 testing locations across NSW, many of which are open seven days a week.


School Attendance


In accordance with advice from NSW Health, parents and carers are reminded NOT to send children to school if they are unwell, even if they have the mildest flu-like symptoms.

NSW Health has requested that schools encourage anyone who is unwell or has even mild flu-like symptoms, to arrange to be tested through their local medical practitioner or one of the COVID-19 clinics.

Students and staff with flu-like symptoms need to be tested and provide a copy of a negative COVID-19 test result and be symptom-free before being permitted to return to school.

Students who do not undertake a COVID-19 test will not be permitted to return to school for a 10-day period. Additionally, they must be symptom-free for at least 3 days prior to returning to school.

Students who have seasonal allergic rhinitis or another condition that presents similarly to flu-like symptoms are still required to get tested for COVID-19 and return a negative test result. Where their symptoms continue beyond 10 days, students should provide documentation from their GP confirming their symptoms are typical for their condition. If the student develops new or changed symptoms, they should get tested for COVID-19. Find more information about COVID-19 symptoms.

COVID-19 testing for students with complex health or disability may be challenging. In these situations, schools will ask the parent or carer to have their child assessed by their medical practitioner. Where a medical practitioner determines that a COVID-19 test is not required, documentation must be provided to the school to confirm that the student does not have symptoms that warrant a COVID-19 test. The certificate must also indicate that the student is able to return to school.

All schools will be vigilant when implementing infection control, physical distancing and personal hygiene protocols to protect the health and safety of students and staff. Schools will promote the need to follow good hygiene practices such as:

  • regularly washing hands.
  • avoiding sharing drinks or food.
  • coughing or sneezing into your elbow, or a tissue which should be discarded immediately.

Students will be supported to learn from home in the following circumstances:

  • If they are required to self-isolate due to being a close contact of a positive or suspected COVID-19 case.
  • Where the school is directed under public health advice to only remain operational for children of essential workers if an outbreak of COVID-19 was to arise in the local area.

Responding to COVID-19 cases


There is a clear plan in place for schools to respond to any suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our schools. We are working closely with NSW Health and will communicate with parents if a situation arises.


Mental Health Support


Looking after your mental health during the COVID-19 outbreak is important. Please see below a suite of contacts & resources to assist you.

Beyond Blue: Looking after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak

Headspace: How to cope with stress related to COVID-19

Mental Health Line – 1800 011 511

Beyond Blue – 1300 224 636

Lifeline – 13 11 14

Mensline – 1300 789 978

Kids Helpline – 1800 551 800


Other Catholic School Agencies


Catholic schools in NSW operate under the auspices of one of the 11 diocesan Catholic schools offices or one of the 20 religious institutes or ministerial public juridic persons (PJPs). The contact details for these Catholic school agencies can be found below (or by key word search). The day to day operational responsibility, including the employment of staff, for Catholic systemic schools lies with the 11 diocesan offices and the individual school for ‘independent’ Catholic schools run by the religious institutes and PJPs. Concerns or questions should be directed to the relevant Catholic school agency or school in the first instance.Contact your diocese for more information:

Diocese of Armidale
Diocese of Bathurst
Diocese of Broken Bay
Archdiocese of Canberra & Goulburn
Diocese of Lismore
Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle
Diocese of Parramatta
Sydney Catholic Schools
Diocese of Wagga Wagga
Diocese of Wilcannia Forbes
Diocese of Wollongong

More information

For media enquiries please contact the CSNSW Public Affairs Unit
e: comms@csnsw.catholic.edu.au
p: 02 9287 1530