Principal News: COVID-19 Update

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

While the situation regarding COVID-19 continues to evolve, the Department of Education sector has established plans and a team to support principals and schools. Please rest assures that we are putting detailed protocols in place and are following the directives of our Department of Education. It is important that as a school community we apply common sense, factual information and a practical approach to COVID–19.

If a WA school has to close due to a confirmed case, it will be on advice from the WA Health Department’s Chief Health Officer. The Chief Health Officer will, if there has been a positive COVID-19 test result in our school, close our school temporarily while assessment and tracing of exposure is conducted. A thorough school clean will then be carried out to make the school safe for the return of students and staff.

In this situation the principal will receive direct advice and support regarding the closure process and communication materials from the Department of Education’s Coronavirus support team.

Upon the school being notified, all families will be immediately contacted and provided with the relevant information. This contact may be during the school day, or before or after school. It is therefore important that we have up-to-date contact details for your children, please notify the front office if these have changed.

While it is acknowledged that this may be a stressful time for the community, parents are reminded that schools open and close all of the time and that the reason for any school closure will be to ensure the safety of all students and staff.

School Events

In response to the Australian Government’s announcement regarding non-essential mass gatherings, the school has made the following decisions regarding events at the school:

Assemblies, excursions and incursions at all sites will be cancelled until further notice.

ANZAC service will be cancelled.

Harmony Day breakfast at Willagee has been cancelled (19th March), however students may still dress in traditional dress or the colour orange on this day.

Recess and lunch times across our 3 sites have been modified to minimise the number of students in particular areas at the one time.

How to minimise the spread of COVID-19:

  • Frequently washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or using an alcohol based hand gel
  • Refraining from touching mouth and nose
  • If coughing or sneezing, covering your nose and mouth with a paper tissue or flexed elbow
  • Dispose of the tissue immediately after use and perform hand hygiene
  • Avoiding close contact with anyone if you, or they, have a cold or flu-like symptoms (maintain a distance of at least 1 metre).

Who cannot attend school – advice as at 16 March 2020

The Prime Minister has introduced measures placed on international arrivals into Australia. This means a mandatory 14-day self-isolation requirement will be placed on all international arrivals into Australia. Students who have been tested for COVID-19 should follow the advice of the WA Department of Health and stay away from school whilst awaiting results.

Students also need to self-quarantine if they have been informed by public health authorities that they have been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus. They must isolate themselves for 14 days after the date of last contact with the confirmed case.

COVID-19 symptoms

People with COVID-19 may experience:

  • fever;
  • flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and fatigue; or
  • shortness of breath.

For the latest health information and health related enquiries please visit WA Department of Health or access the helpline 1800 020 080.

COVID-19 testing

The WA Chief Health Officer, Dr Andrew Robertson, has advised people should not go to be tested for COVID-19 to either COVID Clinics or GPs unless they are currently experiencing symptoms and meet the testing criteria.

To be eligible for testing people must:

  • be currently experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough or sore throat AND have returned from overseas travel in the last 14 days
  • OR be currently experiencing symptoms, and be a contact of a confirmed case
  • OR be currently experiencing symptoms and believe they have been in close contact with a person infected with COVID-19.

This is the situation as it stands, based on current advice and we will continue to keep you informed. Please continue to check the school website for updates.

Your sincerely

Vivienne Doig
Principal