Dear Parents/Carers and Students
It’s been wonderful to see students commence classes this morning. I hope all students are motivated to work hard and do their very best this year.
As always in recent times, there is COVID-related information to share:
- The college is aware of 10 students who have tested positive this week. None of these students have attended classes, although some were involved in Blast Off interviews. Given the timing of these cases the students will in all probability have acquired COVID away from the college. However it is highly likely we will see transmission in schools across the state in coming weeks.
- Now that classes have commenced, the college will advise you via Compass post when we become aware that students who have tested positive have been on site while infectious. I expect that will be a regular occurrence over the coming weeks given the case numbers around the state and here in Bendigo.
- One staff member has tested positive this week. Again, this information will be included in our regular updates.
- Regardless of the advice concerning positive cases at the college, all students should monitor for symptoms. I also encourage all students to continue to follow COVID-safe practices, including maintaining good hand hygiene, wearing masks when indoors and when unable to distance from others outdoor and using the rapid antigen tests supplied by the college.As per our previous advice, if a student returns a positive RAT or COVID PCR test they:
- Report this via the Department of Health system (Rapid antigen tests | Coronavirus Victoria)or via the coronavirus hotline at 1800 675 398.
- Advise the school via the Victorian Education portal and via a phone call to the Student Absence Line (5442 7416). Please note that entering information into the portal requires a registration process and will take a little time.
- Isolate for 7 days and do not attend school during that time. A Student Engagement Coordinator will provide you with advice on how to access school work during this time.
- Follow this health advice https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/checklist-cases
In accordance with health advice, I encourage students to seek COVID vaccination if they have not yet done so. Significantly, an announcement has been made today that young people aged 16 and 17 are immediately eligible for a booster shot if they had their second dose three months ago. Bookings can be made from today via doctors, pharmacies and state hubs.
For students who are household contacts of a confirmed COVID case, please also note this advice provided to schools:
- The quarantine period for family close contacts is 7 days.
- Household contacts are not subject to rolling quarantine periods. If the index case remains in the household or if subsequent cases are identified within the household, the quarantine end date for the close contact is unchanged.
Although this may seem counterintuitive, it means that the 7-day quarantine period does not extend if there are further cases detected in the household. So students may return to school after the initial 7-day period provided they are not experiencing COVID-like symptoms.