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Testing, isolating and quarantine for school and OSHC settings during COVID-19

Find out what you need to do if there’s a positive COVID-19 case at your school or out of school hours care (OSHC).

If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19 they must notify the school, OHSC (or both), and isolate for 5 days.

Contact definitions and requirements

For students

This applies to students who attend the school or OSHC setting and undertake learning activities.

The school or OSHC will inform parents if there has been a positive case of COVID-19.

Classroom contact

A student is a classroom contact if they shared a classroom or interacted with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. This could be a teacher, SSO, ancillary staff or another student.

If the student is a classroom contact and has no symptoms they are encouraged to continue attending school (unless they are the positive case).

If the student is a classroom contact and has symptoms they:

  • must not attend school or OSHC
  • get tested as soon as possible.

Close contact

Leaders and managers should apply a pragmatic approach to managing who is or is not a close contact when following the testing, isolating and quarantine (TIQ) process.

A student is a close contact if they were supported by an SSO or teacher who has tested positive for COVID-19 and:

  • the contact was for a cumulative period of 4 hours, indoors and in close physical proximity
  • face masks were not able to be worn.

If a student is a close contact they must undertake 5 rapid antigen tests over a 7-day period following exposure. Students who are a close contact cannot attend an overnight camp during the 7-day period following exposure. 

For workers at the school or OSHC

This applies to all people working at the school or OSHC that do not support students one to one (1:1). This includes:

  • people working in classroom or OSHC settings – such as teachers, Aboriginal education workers (AEWs), school support officers (SSOs)
  • ancillary staff – for example administrative staff with limited student contact, ground keepers.

If you support a student 1:1, see student support in 1:1 settings on this page.

Classroom contact

A worker is a classroom contact if they shared a classroom with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. This could be a teacher, SSO, staff member or student.

If you’re a worker and a classroom contact you must:

  • do rapid antigen ‘test to stay’ on Monday, Wednesday and Friday (or staff can continue to test daily over the 7 day period if preferred)
  • attend work in a classroom if you receive a negative result and have no symptoms.

Close contact

Leaders and managers should apply a pragmatic approach to managing who is or is not a close contact when following the testing, isolating and quarantine (TIQ) process.

A worker is a close contact if they spent a cumulative period of 4 hours indoors, in close physical proximity and not wearing a mask with another adult who has tested positive for COVID-19.

If you’re a close contact you must undertake 5 rapid antigen tests over a 7-day period following exposure. Staff who are a close contact cannot attend an overnight camp during the 7-day period following exposure.

For workers who support students in 1:1 settings

This applies to people working 1:1 with students, such as SSOs, disability support and allied health workers.

Classroom contact for 1:1 settings

A worker is an SSO 1:1 classroom contact if they they shared a classroom with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. This could be a teacher, SSO, staff member or student.

If you’re a worker and a classroom contact you must:

  • do rapid antigen ‘test to stay’ on Monday, Wednesday and Friday (or staff can continue to test daily over the 7 day period if preferred)
  • attend work in a classroom if you receive a negative result and have no symptoms.

Close contact for 1:1 settings

Leaders and managers should apply a pragmatic approach to managing who is or is not a close contact when following the testing, isolating and quarantine (TIQ) process.

A worker is a close contact in a 1:1 setting if they:

  • supported a student or child who has tested positive for COVID-19 for a cumulative period of 4 hours indoors, in close physical proximity and not wearing a mask
  • spent a cumulative period of 4 hours indoors, in close physical proximity and not wearing a mask with another adult who has tested positive for COVID-19.

If you’re a close contact in a 1:1 setting you must  undertake 5 rapid antigen tests over a 7-day period following exposure. Staff who are a close contact cannot attend an overnight camp during the 7-day period following exposure.

If recommended to have PCR test or if temporary closure

If you've been recommended to undertake PCR testing or if your service, group or room has been temporarily closed as a circuit breaker in the last 7 days, SA Health's advice for staff and students is to do the following for 7 days:

  • avoid attending OSHC and extra-curricular activities, excursions and camps
  • avoid high risk settings or COVID Management Plan events
  • wear a surgical mask around others (where age appropriate) and outside your home
  • avoid working across worksites unless an approved risk management plan is in place (for example rapid antigen testing)
  • avoid contact with vulnerable people outside of your workplace or family, where possible
  • avoid non-essential activities where possible (for example where there are lots people, inside, in close contact)
  • avoid shared spaces and maintain physical distance. 

After isolation if you had COVID-19

If you have recovered from COVID-19, you will not be considered a close contact for 28 days after your release from isolation.

After 28 days, you will still be considered a close contact if you are exposed to COVID-19 and meet the close contact definition.

COVID-19 (coronavirus) Team

Emaileducation.covidcoordination [at] sa.gov.au