Welcome to the MacKillop College Blog

General News

FAQs relating to COVID-19 – 23 July UPDATE 1

24 July 2020 by

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We thank you for your patience and understanding at this challenging time. As a community, we are well supported by DHHS and the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria, and are adhering to their advice.

For our Year 7 to 10 students it is business as usual, as remote learning is well in hand. Remote learning for VCAL and VCE will commence on Monday 27 July to allow for planning and preparation by our staff.

Below you will find a series of frequently asked questions and their responses. If you have any further questions, please email enquiries@mackillop.vic.edu.au.

 

MacKillop College has been closed, why?

MacKillop College has been closed in the interests of public health and the safety of your school community. This decision has been made in consultation with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

If a member of the school community (staff or student) has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), closure of the school will allow time for staff from the DHHS to carry out contact tracing (to identify any staff and students who have been in contact with the confirmed case) and take necessary steps to contain and slow the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

The DHHS recommendations for education settings take a highly precautionary approach based on the latest and best medical advice.

 

How long will MacKillop College be closed for?

The school will close for an initial period of around three days, to allow time for staff from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to carry out contact tracing.

The decision to reopen the school, however, will be made when experts deem it safe to do so.

 

What about my son/daughters learning?

Remote Learning for students in Years 7 to 10 will continue as usual from Friday 24 July.

Remote Learning for VCE and VCAL students will commence as of Monday 27 July to allow time for teacher preparation.

This will continue until it is deemed safe to return to the College for both staff and students.

 

MacKillop College has been closed, are the staff/students at risk?

The health and safety of school communities is paramount, and the steps recommended for your school by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) take a highly precautionary approach based on the latest and best medical advice.

DHHS officials will work through a contact and containment strategy to contain and slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the community.

This includes identifying and notifying any person who has been in close recent contact with the affected student/staff member who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Affected students, their families and school staff will be supported to ensure they understand what actions to take and receive appropriate medical support where required.

 

What is a ‘close contact’?

The spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) occurs through close contact with an infected person, mostly face-to-face or within a household.

A close contact is someone who has been face-to-face for greater than 15 minutes or shared a closed space for more than two hours with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 when that person was infectious.

A close contact could include any person meeting any of the following criteria:

  • living in the same household or household-like setting (for example, a boarding school) as a confirmed case
  • having direct contact with the body fluids of a confirmed case
  • spending two hours or longer in the same room as a confirmed case
  • having face-to-face contact for more than 15 minutes with a confirmed case in any other setting not listed above.

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will work with your school to identify and notify any staff and students identified as having been in close contact with the confirmed case, providing further advice as required.

 

MacKillop College has been closed, are staff/students required to self-isolate?

Students and staff are asked to remain at home while the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) undertakes contact tracing. This includes limiting movements to home-based activities and not attending public places.

The DHHS will work with your school to identify and notify any staff and students confirmed as having been in close contact with the person who has tested positive for COVID-19, providing further advice as required. Contact tracing in schools can take a couple of days.

When contact tracing is complete, you will receive a completion of contact tracing communication. If you are not a close contact, defined below, you will be able to resume normal activities within the scope of Victorian Government restrictions.

Close contacts

If a staff member or student is identified by the DHHS as being a close contact of the confirmed case of COVID-19, they will be required to self-isolate at home and not return to school for 14 days from last contact.

Further information on close contacts and self-isolation can be found in DHHS factsheets.

During this period, if a staff member or student starts to experience symptoms associated with COVID-19 such as fever, shortness of breath, cough, sore throat, fatigue or tiredness, they should:

  • see a doctor (calling ahead before visiting)
  • inform the school.

Once well again, they can return to school.

Not identified as a close contact

If a staff member or student is not identified by the DHHS as being a close contact of the confirmed case of COVID-19, they do not need to self-isolate and can return to school as soon as it reopens.

 

MacKillop College has been closed, should all students/staff be tested for COVID-19?

People who are well should not be tested for COVID-19. There is no need for students or staff to be tested for COVID-19 unless they are advised to do so by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

 

MacKillop College has been closed, should members of staff and students’ households self-isolate (including staff and students attending other educational settings)?

There is no need for members of a household to self-isolate unless identified as a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19 or advised to do so by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

 

Further information will be provided to the community as it comes to hand.

Kind regards,
Rory Kennedy
Principal

Back to Blog Feed