Executive Director’s Update to Principals #64: COVID Update - 31 Aug 2021
Giver of wisdom and love,
You breathe life in us and guide us.
Help us to live according to your vision,
stirring to action the hearts of all---
individuals and families,
communities of faith,
and civil and political leaders.
God of All Creation, help us to hear the cry of those in poverty, and the cry of the earth, so that we may together care for our common home.
Tomorrow is the first day of The Season of Creation.
In his press conference this morning, Premier Daniel Andrews spoke about new thresholds which will be announced tomorrow to allow the safe easing of restrictions in Victoria. Any easing of restrictions will be “modest”.
Authorised Worker’s Permits
On signing an Authorised Worker’s Permit form, an employer acknowledges that their representative may be contacted if deemed necessary to confirm the employee’s details. An employee signs to acknowledge that the nominated representatives may be contacted if deemed necessary to confirm their details, and provides consent to the disclosure and collection of this information.
Therefore, a principal may confirm the details provided by an employee on an Authorised Worker’s Permit form if there is a case of genuine concern, and in the interests of ensuring that the school continues to maintain appropriate student numbers in order to remain COVIDSafe.
Principals are also reminded that schools have discretion in identifying students who fall under Category B - “Children experiencing vulnerability...including those identified by a school or early childhood service as vulnerable”. See COVID Update #56 (21 August) for more details.
COVIDSafe Routine Cleaning Requirements
Increase environmental cleaning (including between changes of staff), and ensure high-touch surfaces are cleaned and disinfected regularly (at least twice daily).
COVIDSafe routine cleaning arrangements should continue for all Catholic schools in Term 3. This involves daily end-of-school-day cleaning, with a particular focus on cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces, and the inclusion of some elements that were not cleaned every day prior to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Schools should consider the necessity of using shared equipment at this time. Such items may include shared computers, class sets of teaching and learning materials, and musical instruments. If used, strict hand hygiene should be followed before and after use. Risk can be further minimised by users of high-touch shared equipment wiping items down where appropriate, for example using a disinfectant/detergent wipe or cloth.
Staff are encouraged to regularly wipe down commonly touched surfaces with disinfectant wipes between classes.
Schools should close spaces that are not needed and only use the administrative and teaching spaces needed to maintain physical distancing requirements and effective learning conditions.
In summary, clean high-touch/use areas at least twice per day. After use, (in between classes or sessions) if sharing spaces or equipment, and maintaining your enhanced environmental cleaning by continuing end-of-day engagement of your cleaning contractor.
School COVID Response Resources
A collection of resources has been developed to provide COVID response advice for schools to refer to in the case of a suspected or confirmed case of COVID. The following areas are covered:
- Responding to a suspected or confirmed case of COVID
- Managing/supporting quarantine and isolation
- PPE guidance
- Reactive school closure process and checklist
- Deep/infectious cleaning procedures and guidelines
- Communicating with school communities and the media
- Employee relations and entitlements
- Additional COVID resources
Searching previous Executive Director's Updates
All Executive Director’s Updates to Principals are now available to search in this google drive. The full contents of each PDF can be searched.
Note that there are now Search buttons in the top and left hand menus linking directly to the google drive for easy access.
If you have difficulty accessing the drive, please contact Emma Newman.
Next COVID Update
We will continue to monitor the situation and advise principals of any updates. Please liaise with the COVID Support team (see left hand column) or your Education Consultant with any questions or concerns.
Stay safe and continue to look after each other…
Deputy Director of Catholic Education (Interim)