Measures put into NSW schools to stay on top of virus

NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell has outlined how the state will get on top of coronavirus outbreaks in schools and what the institutions are doing to make sure teachers and students are safe.

"It's been quite a logistical effort behind the scenes…to get our schools ready," she said.

"We've put additional cleaning services in all 2,200 public schools across NSW and extra cleaning throughout the day - bathrooms, high-touch surfaces, all of these measures are in place to ensure that our schools are as safe as possible.

"We've also had 550,000 hygiene supplies shipped out to our schools. 20,000 toilet rolls, 20,000 bars of soap, more than 40,000 bottles of hand sanitiser. The list is extensive and those supplies will continue to be rolled out."

 

Premier Gladys Berejiklian urged parents to expect schools to temporarily close if coronavirus cases were detected.

"It's important to tell the community we also have plans in place, say there's a spike in cases in a particular location, we'll put in a pop-up clinic, we'll have a number of initiatives to really control the spread in that community," she said.

"As was evidenced last week when a child had the coronavirus at Warragamba Public School, we ensured there was a pop up clinic in the vicinity of the school, we encouraged people to get tested and now the health department is confident any community transmission in that area has been under control.

 

Premier Gladys Berejiklian.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

 

"We need to accept that as restrictions are eased and people are more active, we'll see a more frequent spike.

"As schools reopen, please be prepared for your school, your child's school, the school you teach at, to be temporarily closing.

"If we find there's a case, where a student or a teacher has fallen ill, that we will shut down the school, do a deep clean and resume activity as soon as we can. Please expect that.

"In an environment where there's thousands of schools, tens of thousands of students and teacher and parents moving about, we can expect that to occur from time to time. That will be the new normal when it comes to education.

"We have spent the past month putting in extra supplies, getting extra cleaning - imagine getting an extra contract for cleaning for every extra 2,200 schools, plus all the extra supplies - a lot of work has gone on behind the scenes."

Ms Berejiklian urged parents to be patient, telling reporters she hoped the gradual return to schools would be done in a fortnight.


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