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The Department for Education has implemented COVID safe measures and testing and isolation requirements in schools, preschools, out of school hours care (OSHC) and children’s centres.
Testing and isolating requirements
Find out what you need to do if there’s a positive COVID-19 case at your early childhood education and care service, preschool, school or OSHC.
Preschool and early childhood setting – testing and isolating requirements (print to A3) (PDF 152 KB)
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Preschool and early childhood setting – testing and isolating requirements
School and OSHC settings – testing and isolating requirements
COVID safe measures
COVID safe measures for schools, preschools and children’s centres continue to be reviewed on a regular basis with SA Health.
We recognise that every school and preschool is being affected by COVID-19 in different ways and that principals and preschool directors are best placed to make local decisions.
Face to face gatherings for staff (such as workshops, conferences and group professional development) should continue to be held online where possible.
The following activities can resume in schools:
- Parent teacher interviews can be held in person providing COVID safe measures are in place.
- Day excursions (indoors and outdoors) and incursions (held outdoors where possible). Some excursion venues may have vaccination requirements.
- Swimming lessons and sports days.
- Interschool sporting competitions.
- Extra-curricular activities at the school, including choirs, band practice, instrumental lessons attended by a non-school employed music teacher.
- Work experience and work placements.
- Camps and other outdoor activities. Make sure the camp provider or venue has a COVID management plan.
- Formals. Some venues may have vaccination requirements.
- Indoor or outdoor assemblies. Assemblies held indoors must be held in a COVID safe manner.
- Prospective parent tours and information nights targeted at students considering enrolling in the school in the coming year (for example year 6 to high school) held in a COVID safe manner.
- Hiring education sites to community groups outside of school hours can continue as normal.
- Staff meetings held in person, providing COVID safe measures are followed.
Early childhood education and care
The following activities can resume in early childhood education and care (ECEC) settings:
- Playgroups, Learning Together, Learning Together at Home and other Department for Education courses and programs run in children’s centres and preschools.
- Day excursions and incursions (held outdoors where possible).
- Hiring education sites to community groups outside of hours can continue as normal.
- Staff meetings held in person providing COVID safe measures are followed.
OSHC (out of school hours care)
- Day excursions and incursions (held outdoors where possible) can resume in OSHC.
- Staff meetings can also be held in person providing COVID safe measures are followed.
Face masks in education settings
Face masks in education and care settings (schools, preschools and children’s centres) are strongly recommended (but not required) for:
- all adults (including visitors) while indoors, except when it impedes ability to teach
- students in years 3 to 12 while indoors.
Anyone who is a close contact and is aged 12 years and older will need to wear a mask when they leave the house for 7 days following exposure as per the SA Health close contact guidelines.
Employees and non-employees who are not fully vaccinated must continue to wear a mask while indoors, at all times as per the COVID-19 vaccination policies (staff login required).
Face mask use during outbreaks
Face masks will be temporarily required to be worn in education settings when COVID-19 transmission reaches certain outbreak thresholds, based on SA Health advice.
When certain thresholds are reached, face masks will be required to be worn by students in years 7 to 12 only, and all staff and visitors in the school, preschool or children’s centre for a 14-day period.
If face masks are required at a school, preschool or children’s centre you will be advised by the site leader.
Exemptions will be made for students or staff who have a medical condition, such as problems with their breathing, a serious skin condition on the face, a disability, or a mental health condition.
COVID safe measures for meetings and events
Schools, preschools, ECEC and OSHC services must make sure that the following COVID safe measures are in place for meetings and events:
- recommended physical distancing requirements can be met by all attending adults
- masks are strongly recommended (but not required) for all adults and students in year 3 to 12 when indoors
- appropriate hygiene provisions are in place, for example sanitiser stations
- attendees are advised that they must not attend if unwell, even mildly.
Guidelines for camps
Overnight and intrastate camps with shared indoor spaces are permitted from the start of week 3, term 2 2022. There is no restriction on travel time to a camp within South Australia.
As per the testing and isolation requirements for school settings, students and staff who have tested positive to COVID-19 or are a close contact cannot attend an overnight camp during the 7-day period following exposure.
Students and staff should also not go on camp if they are symptomatic or feeling mildly unwell.
Classes should not go on camp if the class is temporarily closed or, on a PCR or RAT regime.
Visitors in schools, preschools, ECEC and OSHC
Visitors in schools, preschools, ECEC and OSHC can include:
- parents and caregivers attending assemblies – both indoor and outdoor
- people attending the school for specific events held outdoors – such as spectators attending outdoor sporting games
- volunteers required by the school
- instrumental music teachers
- caregivers to attend playgroups.
All adult visitors are strongly recommended (but not required) to wear a face mask when indoors, practise physical distancing, and not attend the site if they are unwell.
Continue to minimise visitors attending indoor venues and sites outside of specific events.
Parent and caregiver requirements
It is strongly recommended (but not required) that parents and caregivers must wear a face mask when indoors in education settings. This includes when they are:
- attending children’s centres, preschools or schools for events – for example playgroups, sports days or information evenings
- volunteering – for example excursions or for student support.
Parents and caregivers do not need to wear a face mask if they have a medical exemption.
If there’s a positive COVID-19 case when parents are present SA Health close contact definitions and rules will apply. This includes if parents and caregivers were indoors and not wearing a mask (including those with medical exemptions for face masks).
COVID-19 settings that remain in place
- Face masks are strongly recommended (but not required) when indoors for:
- all adults (including visitors), except when it impedes ability to teach
- students in years 3 to 12.
- Testing and isolating requirements.
- Staff to continue to minimise use of staff rooms where possible, using outdoor areas and separate rooms for breaks where possible.
- Outdoor learning encouraged where possible.
- Continue to open windows and doors or use air-conditioning set to fresh air intake where possible.
Learning at school and preschool
Children and students should continue to attend school and preschool as normal unless they are:
- self-isolating due to testing positive to COVID-19
- waiting for results of a COVID-19 test
If your child is isolating as a result of testing positive to COVID-19, they can use the department’s learning at home lessons to continue their learning at home.
Reception to year 10 students can access a suite of learning at home lessons. Lessons are delivered via video or Microsoft PowerPoint and can be accessed on any device.
The learning at home lessons and other resources are available on Our Learning SA.