COVID-19 Information

Our Procedure for Dealing with a COVID Case at Living School

What if my child tests positive for COVID-19?

  • record the positive RAHT result through the Service NSW website or Service NSW app
  • follow NSW Health advice to isolate for 7 days
  • isolate for 7 days following the positive test
  • leave isolation after 7 days if no symptoms (sore throat, runny nose, cough or shortness of breath)
  • if there are symptoms after 7 days, then remain in isolation until 24 hours after symptoms have resolved. Note: if a person continues to have symptoms, they are able to leave isolation after 7 days with a medical clearance. 
  • NSW Health have advised in face to face meetings that once a person who has tested positive has finished their isolation, they do not need to self-isolate or undertake testing (RAHT or PCR) for 28 days unless symptoms reappear. Following these 28 days individuals should resume RAHT testing.

What if my other child/children have not tested positive but have been living with the positive case?

NSWHealth advises a person is now considered a household contact if they live in the same household as the positive case, and must self-isolate for 7 days (unless they have previously tested positive to COVID and ended their isolation for this in the past 28 days). They are not able to attend school under our guidelines.

What if my child has been in contact with a child/person who tests positive with COVID-19 but does not live in the same household?

Any other individual that has contact with a COVID positive person is not required to isolate but is advised by Health to assess the level of risk of the contact and respond accordingly. This means any exposure to COVID at school or socially does not result in a person being a close contact.

Frequently Asked Questions

RAHT tests

How are the allocated RAHT kits to be used? 

RAHT kits are recommended for students and staff – to be used as a screening tool twice a week for the first few weeks of Term 1 with the possibility of extension.

 

What is the process for RAHT testing? Do people test at home? 

The RAHT kits that will be provided are a quick and easy screening tool to help detect COVID-19 in people who do not have symptoms. They involve a simple nose swab that is placed in a chemical solution. 

Living School will not administer RAHT tests to students. Parents/carers of children participating in RAHT testing will be required to administer the RAHT test at home. 

Provided within the RAHT kits are instructions on how to use the tests, check the results and how to dispose of the tests safely. Parents, carers and staff can also download the user guides of the relevant test that they received through the Therapeutic Goods Administration website. The user guides will also contain a contact number for the suppliers for additional support. 

If parents and carers need an interpreter to help with their questions, they can be provided with the following details: 

‘If you need an interpreter to assist with the enquiry, please call the Telephone Interpreter Service on 131 450 and ask for an interpreter in your language. Tell the operator the phone number you want to call and the operator will get an interpreter on the line to assist you with the conversation. You will not be charged for this service.’ 

Do independent schools need to record positive results? What about negative results? 

In addition to the requirement to report a positive RAHT result to Service NSW, the Public Health Order also requires staff and students to immediately notify the school of any positive result to a COVID test whether that be a PCR or RAHT test. There is no prescribed method for this, schools can determine how this is to occur and to whom. 

If a student or staff member receives a positive RAHT test, they need to 

• record the positive RAHT result through the Service NSW website or Service NSW app 

• notify the school of the positive RAT or PCR test result as soon as possible 

• follow NSW Health advice to isolate for 7 days 

Negative results do not need to be reported to Service NSW or to the school. 

 

Will students need their own Service NSW account? 

No, students will not be required to have a Service NSW account. Parents/carers will be able to notify Service NSW of their child’s positive result. 

There may be enhancements to the Service NSW portal in the future to enable notifications of positive results to also indicate a student’s/teacher’s school. 

 

What if a parent does not allow their child to have a RAHT test twice a week? 

The use of RAHT for students is not mandated by the NSW Government. 

If a parent decides that their child(ren) will not participate in RAHT testing, their child(ren) should still attend school unless they have symptoms or are required to isolate (e.g. because they have tested positive or are a household contact). 

Not participating in RAHT testing may have implications for a child’s participation in other school activities depending on the school’s policies and COVID protocol (e.g. participation in excursions or extra-curricular activities) 

 

What does a student or staff member do if they test positive? 

Any student or staff member who tests positive to COVID-19 is required to follow NSW Health requirements under the Public Health Order for testing positive and self-isolation. Currently, the requirements are: 

• isolate for 7 days following the positive test 

• leave isolation after 7 days if no symptoms (sore throat, runny nose, cough or shortness of breath) 

• if there are symptoms after 7 days, then remain in isolation until 24 hours after symptoms have resolved. Note: if a person continues to have symptoms, they are able to leave isolation after 7 days with a medical clearance. 

Staff and students who return a positive RAHT result must register it on the Service NSW app or service.nsw.gov.au website as soon as possible. 

Staff and students who receive a positive PCR or RAHT result must tell their school as soon as possible and follow NSW Health advice. 

The PHO requires staff (including contractors) and students to immediately notify the school of their positive result. Schools can determine how this is to occur and to whom.

 

When can a student or staff member return to school after testing positive and when do they re-commence surveillance testing? 

Once a person who has tested positive to COVID-19 has finished their isolation period as detailed above, they can immediately return to school settings. 

Individuals do not have to return a negative test to leave isolation as there may still be a viral load present in their system which may result in a positive test result. However, they are not likely to continue to be infectious. 

NSW Health have advised in face to face meetings that once a person who has tested positive has finished their isolation, they do not need to self-isolate or undertake testing (RAHT or PCR) for 28 days unless symptoms reappear. Following these 28 days individuals should resume RAHT surveillance testing.

 

What does the school do if a student or staff member tests positive? 

Schools will no longer have to send cohorts home or undertake contact tracing when there is a case within the school. 

In place of contact tracing, there is a communication template (This link will download a word document to your machine) available that the school can use to alert the school community as needed that there has been a case and to monitor for symptoms. This communication does not need to be personalised and can be distributed to staff and families for either a class, cohort or whole school group as appropriate to the situation. Schools have the discretion to make this decision depending on the contact the person who has tested positive had in the two days prior to being symptomatic or testing positive. 

Are schools required to ask their staff and students if an individual tested positive over non-term time? 

The PHO requires staff and students that test positive to notify the school. Responsibility for these notifications lies with the individual, rather than schools having to follow up. These notifications are particularly critical if they impact school operations. 

What is the definition of a household/ close contact? 

A household contact is a person who lives with someone who has COVID-19. 

Only household contacts are required by NSW Health to isolate for 7 days (unless the person has previously tested positive to COVID and ended their isolation for this in the past 28 days). 

Previously, those that had been with a positive case for 4 or more hours was also considered a close contact – the definition has been updated and this no longer makes someone a close contact (i.e., close contacts are household contacts only). 

Any other individual that has contact with a COVID positive person is not required to isolate but is advised by Health to assess the level of risk of the contact and respond accordingly. This means any exposure to COVID at school or socially does not result in a person being a close contact. 

Note: An authorised Health contact tracer can direct a close contact to self-isolate. It is anticipated that this will not occur routinely.

 

What happens if a student is identified as a household/ close contact? Can they attend school during their isolation period? 

No. A student is no longer able to attend school through the use of RAHT if they are identified as a household/ close contact. 

The exemption that was in place for students in 2021 under the Test to Stay Program was rescinded on 24 January 2022 and is therefore no longer available with immediate effect. 

Students identified as household/ close contacts are required to complete the 7 day period of isolation.