Term 3 update 14 October 2022

Change to COVID-19 isolation requirement

Last week National Cabinet announced that the isolation period for positive COVID-19 cases would be reduced from 7 days to 5 days from Friday, 9 September, with the following caveats:
  • this would apply to people with no symptoms at 5 days
  • 7 days isolation would remain for workers in high-risk settings, including aged care, disability care and those providing care in the home.
In line with the decision by National Cabinet and reflecting the changes to community settings, the current advice is that in mainstream school settings (including boarding schools), staff, students, and visitors who have tested positive for COVID-19 must:
  • complete 5 days of isolation from the date they tested positive
  • be symptom-free before returning to school; if symptoms remain after day 5, they must continue following NSW Health guidelines to self-isolate and undertake a rapid antigen test
  • complete a rapid antigen test (RAT) and return a negative result before attending school on days 6 and 7 after testing positive for COVID-19
  • wear a mask on days 6 and 7 when attending school (for all staff and those students 12 years and older).
Due to the higher risk associated with some school settings and activities, the 7-day isolation period will remain for staff, students, and visitors who have tested positive for COVID-19 and work at or attend:
  • specialist centres
  • support units
  • assisted transport
  • overnight excursions. (CSBB maintains that staff or students who have been identified as a close contact within 7 days of departing on an overnight excursion will not be able to attend)
Staff, students, and visitors may return to these higher-risk settings after isolating for 7 days from the date they tested positive if they are symptom-free on their seventh day of isolation.
Masks continue to be required for all workers who support students with a greater risk of severe illness if they were to have COVID-19 in SSPs, support units, and some mainstream classrooms.
All staff, students, and visitors who test positive for COVID-19 should continue to follow the NSW Health guidelines.
There are no changes to NSW Health requirements for household and close contacts. Any staff member, student, or visitor who is identified as a household or close contact should follow the NSW Health advice.