COVID-19: NSW public schools welcome back students, but they could close if virus found

PRECAUTIONS: Temporary closures of public schools will still occur if new cases of coronavirus are found, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says.
PRECAUTIONS: Temporary closures of public schools will still occur if new cases of coronavirus are found, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says.

Public schools may be welcoming back students from Monday, but the community should be prepared for schools to close if new virus cases are detected, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says.

The NSW Government has asked schools to return students to a minimum of one day a week, with social distancing measures to remain in place.

While schools will vary in their back-to-class roll out, most schools will allow Year 12 students to attend an average of three or four days a week.

"As schools reopen please be prepared for your school, your child's school, the school you teach at temporarily closing if we find that there's a case," Ms Berejiklian said.

As schools reopen please be prepared for your school, your child's school, the school you teach at temporarily closing if we find that there's a case.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian

"If a student or a teacher has fallen ill then we will shut down that school and do a deep clean and then resume activities as soon as we can.

"In an environment where there's thousands of schools and hundreds of thousands of students and teachers and parents moving about, we can expect to see that occur from time to time

"That will be the new normal when it comes to education."

Ms Berejiklian said schools were vital to the state's economy and the matrix the NSW Government used in relation to easing restrictions meant they look at areas which are a low health risk but have a high economic output.

Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell.

Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell.

"All the evidence and data we've collected suggest that schools give us the low health risk but a high economic output because when children go back to school their parents are more productive and you find businesses that support those schools are also more active as well," she said.

Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell said a lot of preparation had occurred at schools prior to Monday.

"Parents should have that reassurance knowing that our schools are safe places," she said.

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"It's been quite a logistical effort behind the scenes from the Department of Education staff to get our schools ready, we've put additional cleaning services in all 2200 public schools across NSW.

"We've all had more than 550,000 hygiene supplies shipped out to our schools - ranging from things like 20,000 rolls of toilet paper, more than 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 across our school communities throughout this term.

"Parents should know that it's a very safe environment for their children to be heading back into, it is the best thing for their child's education to go back into the classroom."

This story Welcome back students, but NSW schools will still close if virus found first appeared on The Canberra Times.