Executive Director's Update to Principals #16: COVID Update - 26 May 2021
Lord Jesus, give us the grace to hear your voice,
And the strength to continue working for your kingdom in this time of pandemic.
Do not allow us to be indifferent to those who today suffer the loss of a loved one, or who suffer from the absence of work.
But give us the courage to accompany and side with those who suffer violence or injustice.
Metropolitan Melbourne moved to revised COVIDSafe Settings on 6:00pm Tuesday 25 May, 2021.
While these new settings do not directly impact regional Victoria, there are a number of implications for our diocesan schools. Travel is allowed between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria, however metropolitan Melbourne restrictions travel with the resident. Therefore Victorians (including students and staff) visiting regional Victoria from Melbourne (for work or schooling) will need to wear a face mask when indoors even when outside of metropolitan Melbourne, unless an exception applies.
School Camps and Excursions
As outlined in the current School Operations Guide, school camps and excursions in both metropolitan and regional Victoria can continue if face mask requirements are followed, however any planned visit to metropolitan Melbourne is strongly discouraged at this time. If DOBCEL schools have planned such an activity through until 4 June, please contact your Education Consultant immediately.
Metropolitan Melbourne consists of the following Local Government Areas (LGAs): Banyule, Bayside, Boroondara, Brimbank, Cardinia, Casey, Darebin, Frankston, Glen Eira, Greater Dandenong, Hobsons Bay, Hume, Kingston, Knox, Manningham, Maribyrnong, Maroondah, Melbourne, Melton, Monash, Moonee Valley, Moreland, Mornington Peninsula, Nillumbik, Port Phillip, Stonnington, Whitehorse, Whittlesea, Wyndham, Yarra, Yarra Ranges
Other school activities can continue with existing COVIDSafe restrictions in place, including interschool activities. There are no changes to existing density rules.
Schools must continue to follow the COVIDSafe principles as outlined in the updated School Operations Guide, reinforcing key behaviours such as staying home when unwell and supporting regular hand hygiene.
Face Masks in Regional Victoria
As per the directions of the Victorian Chief Health Officer, the following actions remain mandatory in regional Victoria:
- Individuals over the age of 12 (including staff, students and visitors) must carry a face mask at all times.
- Face masks to be worn by individuals over the age of 12 when on public transport and school buses – unless there is a lawful exemption.
- The same exemptions to the wearing of face masks apply in schools as when people are out in the community. This includes students who are over the age of 12 and are unable to wear a face mask due to the nature of their disability. This also includes students or staff who have a medical condition, such as problems with their breathing, a serious skin condition on the face, a disability or a mental health condition.
- Face masks are recommended for use by staff and students when physical distancing of 1.5m cannot be maintained.
- A face mask must cover the nose and mouth. Face shields, scarves or bandanas do not meet these requirements.
Template Letter for Parents and Carers
A template letter has been created to assist principals with communicating the changes to parents and carers. The template is available as a Word document.
Further advice will be provided for any upcoming Tier 1 - 3 public events that are subject to the Public Events Framework.
These measures are aimed at giving health authorities the best opportunity to stop the spread of the virus in our community.
In addition, the Department of Health has listed several public exposure sites. If someone has visited one of these sites, they must follow the specific advice listed for that exposure site and contact the Department of Health at 1300 651 160.
Updated School Operations Guide
An updated Term 2 School Operations Guide is now available on CEVN.
Next COVID-19 Update
We will continue to send out COVID-19 updates on an as needs basis. Please liaise with your Education Consultant with any questions or concerns.
Stay safe and continue to look after each other…
Deputy Director of Catholic Education