The NSW Government has announced school closures due to positive COVID-19 cases will now be minimised as close contacts, and will no longer need to isolate.
Following recent NSW Health and Doherty Institute advice, the changes took effect on Monday November 29.
Instead of isolating, students who are close contact to a COVID-19 positive case must take a PCR test promptly after being notified that they are exposed.
Upon receiving a negative PCR result, as long as students provide negative Rapid Antigen Home Test results for the next seven day, they are able to return to school.
School will also no longer have to close whilst contact tracing is underway, expect for if there are multiple cases.
Masks are still required for all high school student and all staff, as well as being recommended for primary school students.
Instruments that rely on breath, singing and chanting are also now allowed to return to schools, although they must be outdoors.
Premier Dominic Perrottet said the announcement would reassure parents that schools would not be closing anymore, and their children would not need to isolate at home.
“The people of NSW have worked hard to get to this point, and the government made a commitment that whenever possible we would reduce the disruption to schools,” Perrottet said.
“Schools have managed the pandemic extremely well, I want to thank all staff for the way they have conducted themselves and the efforts they have made to reduce the impacts of COVID on their students.”
Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell said students and parents were eager to have less interruptions in schools.
“I’m delighted we can reduce the disruption for students and families, while still maintaining the safety measures for students and staff on school sites,” Mitchell said.
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