Schools and early childhood education and care

Last Updated: 14 Oct 2022 2:22pm

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Public Health has developed COVID-19 guidance for parents/carers, schools and early childhood education and care settings in Tasmania.

Prevent and prepare

Public Health has worked with the Department of Education, Children and Young People, Catholic Education Tasmania, Independent Schools Tasmania and the Early Childhood Education and Care sector to develop and implement practical, workable measures to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and minimise the risk of outbreaks, while supporting ongoing education in classrooms.

These measures include:

  • Vaccination: Children aged 5+ years will continue to be encouraged to be vaccinated – vaccination is not mandatory for a child to attend school.
  • Ventilation: Air purifiers will continue to be used in classrooms, as well as use of open windows if cool climate allows.
  • Masks: Face masks help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect others who may be at high risk of severe disease. It is strongly recommended that masks are worn by cases who have had a positive test within the last seven days, regardless of symptoms. Close contacts are strongly recommended to wear masks. There may also be additional circumstances where organisations such as the Department of Education, Children and Young People require face masks to be worn at their facilities.
  • Outdoor learning: Schools will continue to take advantage of outdoor learning opportunities where possible, dependent on cool climate.
  • Physical distancing: All adults will continue to keep a physical distance of 1.5 metres from each other where possible.
  • Hygiene practices: Regular handwashing and sanitising will continue.
  • Cleaning: Frequent cleaning will continue, particularly on high-touch surfaces.
  • Safe site management: Schools will regularly review their COVID-19 safety plans.
  • Groups: Mixing of students and staff will continue to be limited where required.
  • Testing: Rapid antigen test kits (RATs) will remain available so all children/students and staff can get tested immediately if they develop any COVID-19 symptoms (note, most self-administered RATs are not recommended for use in children under the age of two years). PCR is the preferred testing method where RAT is not suitable. Learn more about COVID-19 symptoms.

For more information visit the Department of Education, Children and Young People website.

Outbreaks in boarding schools

Public health may declare an outbreak in a boarding house if there are two or more cases identified within three days of each other. Public health will work with the boarding school to provide advice about testing and management of the outbreak.

Unusual circumstances

Cases or outbreaks linked to schools or students with unique circumstances will be assessed on an individual basis by Public Health.