What to do if a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19
Remember: the best thing you can do to protect yourself, your children and your school is to get vaccinated. Visit www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/vaccine for more information. Staff are eligible for their booster three months after receiving their second dose, click here for more information on boosters.
As Victorian schools return to onsite learning there is a chance that staff and students will need to isolate as a COVID case. The Western Public Health Unit is working with the Victorian Department of Education to ensure that staff and students face minimal interruption to learning while staying COVIDSafe. See below for advice on what to do if you are a student (or parent) or staff member who tests positive for COVID-19 or if you are a close contact.
Primary and secondary school staff and students are recommended to undertake twice weekly rapid antigen testing, on school days. Specialist school staff and students are recommended to undertake rapid antigen testing five times a week on school days. If a student or staff member develops symptoms, they should take a rapid antigen test at home or get a PCR test. Students who have recovered from COVID-19 do not need to participate in surveillance testing for 12 weeks after their isolation period has ended. Symptomatic students or staff should only return to school once they have received a negative test result and their symptoms have resolved.
Student tests positive on either a rapid antigen test (RAT) or PCR test
1. The student must isolate for 7 days. Stay home until symptoms resolve and are well. They cannot attend school during this period. Household contacts must isolate for 7 days.
2. The student or parent must report their positive RAT result either online or by calling the hotline (1800 675 398). If they tested positive using a PCR test they do not need to contact the Department of Health.
3.If the student was at school when they were infectious you need to report the positive case through the Student COVID-19 Test Portal or you can notify the school in writing or by phone.
See the checklist for cases.
Staff tests positive on either a rapid antigen test (RAT) or PCR test
1. The staff member must isolate for 7 days. Stay home until symptoms resolve and staff member is well. They cannot attend school during this period. Household contacts must isolate for seven days.
2. Staff must report their positive RAT result either online or by calling the hotline (1800 675 398). If they tested positive using a PCR test they do not need to contact the Department of Health.
3. Staff must contact the school and notify them that they have COVID-19. They must report their result in eduPay.
See the checklist for cases.
Students and staff who are identified as close contacts must complete a negative rapid antigen test on at least five days, wear a mask indoors when outside their home and not visit sensitive settings (healthcare) for seven days from when the positive test was taken. They can continue to attend school during this period as long as they do not have symptoms. Children under the age of eight are exempt from wearing a mask.
You can download this resource as a factsheet here.