Management of Coronavirus (COVID-19) at schools

​If staff or students begin to show coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms once they return to school

If a member of staff or a student begins experiencing symptoms compatible with coronavirus (COVID-19) (e.g. fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath) or any other illness, they will be asked to return home and seek medical advice.

Isolation and supervision

All staff, children or young people at school experiencing symptoms compatible with coronavirus (COVID-19) (e.g. fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath) will be isolated in an appropriate space with suitable supervision and collected by a parent/carer as soon as possible.

Staff protection and hygiene

If the child cannot remain isolated while waiting to be collected, the staff member looking after the student will wear a mask (available in school first aid kits) and carry out frequent hand hygiene.

If a staff, student or family member is diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Department has comprehensive procedures in place with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to manage suspected or confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in schools.

Immediate action

Contact DHHS on 1300 651 160 to discuss what to do next if a student or staff member:

  • is a confirmed case
  • has been in close contact with a confirmed case.

Schools should also inform the Department by making an IRIS incident alert.

Close contact

DHHS defines 'close contact' as someone who has either:

  • had at least 15 minutes of face-to-face contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • shared a closed space for more than two hours with someone who is a confirmed case.

Unless you have a student or staff member in one of the two above categories, you do not need to take further action.

School actions if impacted

If a school is directly impacted by a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19), the Department will work with DHHS to confirm necessary actions for the school. This may include a temporary closure of the school while an investigation and contact tracing takes place. DHHS may recommend a deep clean of the school. All surfaces, furniture and equipment will be disinfected with hospital-grade disinfectant as part of the deep clean. The school will be made operational as soon as possible.