COVID-19 Safety Plan, January 2022

Context

This plan has been revised to reflect the current understanding of risks associated with the
community transmission of Covid-19. We are conscious that recommendations are likely to change
and our plans will change with such advice.

In early December a new variant of Covid was announced. This variant, Omicron, is said to be more
transmissible but possibly a less severe variant than the previous Delta and Alpha variants.
Tasmania has been relatively free of Covid since March 2020, while other Australian states have had
more significant case numbers. The Tasmanian Govt, like their interstate counterparts, have used
isolation as the predominant defence against Covid since the original outbreak in 2020. With high
uptake of vaccinations now reaching over 90% of the eligible population, that defence strategy is
changing.

On December 15 Tasmania opened its borders to mainland states and overseas travellers, with the
expectation that the virus would come with them. We are told by the Department of Health (DoH)
that vaccinated individuals are only likely to have mild symptoms from the virus, but that
unvaccinated individuals remain at risk. We are also told that the young remain less at risk than the
elderly or individuals with underlying health issues.

Earlier in the year, State and National Departments of Health recommended that all adults and
children over 12 be vaccinated. In the last few weeks that recommendation extended to children
between 5 and 11 years, receiving a smaller dose of the vaccine.

Whilst vaccines are the latest defence against Covid-19, there are multiple other defences that are
still recommended and/or required by the DoH. Physical distancing, surface cleaning, mask wearing,
isolating if a close contact, getting tested, and contact tracing are all recommended strategies for
reducing rapid transmission in the community.

Tarremah has a diverse community of children and adults from under 12 months old to over 60
years. The health and wellbeing of that community is our primary concern. The school endeavours
to follow all public health advice to provide the best learning and working environment for students,
staff and parents.

Demographic

Tarremah has almost 300 students, 100 in Secondary School in the 12-16 year age group, 150 in the
Primary School in the 6-12 year age group and 50 in the early years, under the age of six. Tarremah
has 50 staff members, aged 20 – 65.

Tarremah’s population includes a number of students and adults with underlying health conditions
or disabilities.

Mitigation measures for providing a Covid-safe environment for all in 2022.

The health and wellbeing of students and staff is our highest priority. In preparation for the 2022
school year the School will implement the following mitigation measures to provide a Covid-Safe
environment, these include many of those used in 2021.

Cleaning and Hygiene

The entire school is cleaned daily by contract cleaners.

Hand sanitiser is available from automatic dispensers at the door of every classroom, reception, the
staffroom and all shared spaces. Staff and students are expected to sanitise their hands before
entering rooms. All visitors to Reception are required to use hand sanitiser on entry. Teachers will
remind students to wash or sanitise their hands as often as is practicable (at each break and after
using the bathroom is minimum).

Posters on how to wash hands are on display in all bathrooms and in the staff rooms. Posters on
how to limit the spread of germs are placed in each classroom, reception and the staff rooms.

Restrictions on Entry to the Workplace

Persons who have been instructed to stay in isolation or quarantine may not enter the workplace.
Posters will remind staff, students and parents.

All staff have been instructed to stay at home if they are unwell.

Parents have been asked to keep their children at home if they are unwell. Students who are unwell
and arrive at school will be sent home immediately. Students who become unwell at school will be
sent home immediately. Students who are unwell are to remain in their classroom wearing a face-
mask until they are collected. Parents are required collect their child within 60 minutes if contacted
by the school to do so. Parents are also required to provide two emergency contacts who would be
able to collect a child within 60 minutes if the parents were not contactable.

Children experiencing hay fever symptoms may attend school if a doctor’s certificate is provided.
All visitors are to sign in/out to enable tracing of potential exposure to COVID-19

Physical Distancing

It is important that staff and students can be social. When socialising, all adults are asked to make
use of all available space. We understand that the minimum of 2 square metres of space per adult is
not required in a school setting.

Classrooms will be arranged to maximise the space between each student. Students are not
expected to physically distance from one another.

Staff are encouraged to use areas other than staff rooms to take their breaks, possibly preparing a
drink or food and eating outside. Teachers will have priority using staff rooms during student break
times. Teacher Aides may take breaks at times other than student break times.
Administration staff may be asked to take breaks at times other than student break times and

Teacher Aide break times.

Parents are requested to respect the School’s protocols and assist in their implementation.

Parents of ECC and Primary students are welcome to collect their children from the classroom,
however for the next little while we ask that parents only spend minimal time on campus.

Mask Wearing

If directed by the Department of Health, adults and students may be required to wear a mask.

Vaccinations

Following advice from the Department of Health (DoH), the School has not mandated vaccinations
for staff or students, except in Silvereye which operates under the regulations of the ‘Education and
Care Unit’, where vaccinations are required for adults unless exempt. For their own health and that
of those around them, the DoH has recommended that all adults and children over 5 years of age
are fully vaccinated.

Isolating if a Close Contact

The DoH has defined a ‘close contact’ as someone who has spent 4hrs in a home like setting with a
confirmed case of Covid-19, or a person present at a significant spreading event. Please refer to
https://www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au/keeping-yourself-safe/contact-tracing/types-of-contacts for
more information
If asked to do so by the DoH, staff or students will be required to isolate for 7 or 14 days.

Responding to an incident of COVID-19 in the workplace

Following advice from the Department of Health, if there was a confirmed case of Covid-19 on
campus we would:

  • notify the Tasmanian Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 671 738
  • notify WorkSafe Tasmania on 1300 366 322

If the case was an adult they would need to go home. If the case was a child, parents would be
required to take the child home immediately. Whilst waiting to be collected, the child would remain
in their classroom wearing a mask (available in the office).

If directed by the Department of Health, a student or staff member may be required be tested for
COVID-19, go home and self-isolate. In such a case, the person may not return to school until s/he
has tested negative for COVID-19 and is well.

On confirmation of a case of COVID-19:

  • The section of the school may be closed for cleaning
  • The following cleaning contractor will be used to conduct a ‘deep clean’ at school:
    Spectran Group Pty Ltd
    6 Birdwood Avenue
    Moonah TAS 7009
    Phone: 03 6272 9377

If there was a significant spreading event at school, the Department of Health may designate part of
the school a close contact site, then requiring certain individuals to isolate.

Physical Spaces

Where practical, external doors to bathrooms will be kept open during the day. Rooms are well
ventilated; doors or windows will be open where practical.