The Victorian Government has announced some important changes to COVIDSafe measures for schools that will apply from the start of Term 2.

 

Face masks

From Friday 22 April, face masks, while recommended, are not required in any school setting. This means students in grades 3 to 6, staff and visitors in primary schools are no longer required to wear face masks. Any student or staff member who wishes to wear a mask may do so, including those who are medically at-risk.

 

Screening requirements

Students who have tested positive for COVID-19, and have completed their 7-day isolation period, now do not need to undertake rapid antigen test (RAT) screening for 12 weeks after their release from isolation. This was previously 8 weeks.

 

Household contacts

Students who are household contacts of a COVID-19 case are not required to quarantine. They may return to school as long as they undertake rapid antigen tests (RAT) 5 times during their 7-day period. They are required to notify the school that they are a household contact.

Students aged 8 years and above who are household contacts are required to wear face masks when indoors at school unless they have a valid exemption. 

If a student household contact returns a positive RAT result, they must isolate for 7 days. 

Vaccination requirements for visitors to schools 

Parents, carers and other adult visitors (not performing work) are no longer required to show evidence of two doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

 

RAT screening program reminder

RATs will continue to be supplied for the first 4 weeks of Term 2 to support the early detection of COVID-19 in our school. 

The testing recommendations will remain the same this Term for students and staff with:

  • mainstream schools – recommended to test at home twice a week
  • specialist schools – recommended to test 5 days a week at home due to the higher risk of severe illness for medically vulnerable children.

As we approach winter and flu season, the vaccination of children aged 5 to 11 and booster shots for students 16+ remains the best way to ensure protection for students and staff. 

If you have any concerns about getting your child vaccinated, please get in contact with your GP or another health professional who can answer your questions. 

 

IPS specific

Other changes in protocols at Ivanhoe primary School include:

While gates will continue to be opened at 8.45am parents and students will no longer be required to wear masks on school grounds and in classrooms.

Although gates will not be locked at 3.45pm play equipment will be out of bounds for all but those students attending OSHC, and families will be encouraged to leave the school grounds rather than socialise.

 Students will no longer be bound to specific play areas during the day.

To be advised - -canteen counter service will resume shortly.

Clearly this is a significant step forward for all of us: staff, parents, and students. While we have spent over two years doing the “right thing”, following the rules, observing common sense, and keeping our fingers crossed there are still things we can continue to do to keep the children in school.

Encourage your children to wash their hands before and after eating, going to the toilet etc. Use the classroom sanitiser while it remains available. 

Remember anyone choosing to wear a mask will not be discouraged.

Whole school assemblies will continue to occur online until the 16th of May after which time this will be reviewed. Hopefully by this time we will feel confident that we can resume this wonderful tradition of celebrating the beginning of the school week all together.

As the Department provides more advice, I will ensure that it gets to the community without delay. 

Thank you for your ongoing support in keeping our school safe and I really look forward to seeing you all next week.

 

Mark Kent

Ivanhoe Primary School

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