COVID-19 Health Advice for students and families

Current Situation in the Territory

The NT has a Roadmap to the New Normal that outlines the key principles of personal responsibility, physical distancing and hygiene, which are derived from the best available evidence, applied in the context of the NT.

Updated Practices in Schools

  • From Week 5, Term 2 (18 May 2020) some excursions will resume with revised risk assessments and be in accordance with the principles and criteria of the Roadmap to the New Normal
  • Contact sports may resume from Week 8, Term 2 (9 June 2020). The Department of Education has developed a School Sport checklist to ensure alignment with the NT Government Roadmap to the New Normal
  • Restricted visitors to the school until further notice

The advice of Australia’s top health experts is schools continue to be a safe and healthy environment.

Advice current as at 17 April 2020

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness, symptoms include runny nose, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath and sometimes it includes fever.

COVID-19 can spread through close contact and droplets. You can reduce the spread of COVID-19 by washing hands with soap, covering coughs and sneezes, putting tissues in the bin and practicing physical distancing, and importantly stay home when feeling unwell

The focus is reducing transmission.

Current situation in the NT

There is currently no community transmission in the Northern Territory.

Community transmission occurs when a locally acquired case has not been able to be traced back to a known confirmed case.

The NT has experienced to date a very small number of cases and no death.

All Northern Territory cases are connected to international or interstate travel and have been traced to their source.

Keeping children healthy at school

The easiest way to reduce the risk of viruses of any sort is to practise good hygiene:

  • Keep your hands to yourself
  • Try not to touch your face
  • Sneeze and cough into your elbow or a tissue, NEVER into the air
  • Wash your hands with soap, properly for 20 seconds
  • Wash your hands before you eat or touch your face
  • Wash your hands after playing outside or with other people or animals
  • Wash your hands after going to the toilet
  • Don’t suck your fingers, pencils or other things
  • Don’t share food or drink bottles
  • Spread out and avoid close contact with others
  • Use hand sanitiser after sharing things like laptops, iPads and toys.
  • Keep sick children at home, just as you would have done before coronavirus
  • Stay 1.5 metres away from others when doing pick up and drop off
  • If you do enter the school, wash hands with soap beforehand
  • Practise and show children good hygiene
  • Monitor for up to date information
  • Talk to your child about what is happening, remain calm and reassuring. Help your child feel informed so they understand what is happening.

How families can help the school community to stay healthy

How can schools stay healthy

  • No more assemblies, read notices over the PA system and deliver awards in class
  • Children to stay in designated areas in the playground and avoid close contact with each other
  • Cancel contact sports and interschool activities until further notice
  • Restrict excursions and visitors to the school until further notice
  • Extra care to be taken to clean the school every afternoon
  • Adapt activities to avoid mixing between different classes and year levels
  • Encourage increased space between students, for example, by placing markings on the floor , increasing space between desks and chairs
  • Encourage students to maintain 1.5m distance when entering or leaving a classroom
  • Close all communal water fountains/bubblers / Use water bubblers to refill water bottles only.

How can teachers help children stay healthy

  • Show children how to cover a sneeze or a cough
  • Arrange desks so that your class is spread out
  • Organise learning activities that don’t require close contact
  • Clean shared things like laptops, iPads, toys and desks, and limit use of shared objects like pencils
  • Try and incorporate more lessons outside in areas with better ventilation
  • Talk to students about what is happening, remain calm and reassuring. Help them feel informed so they understand what is happening.

Further information

Contact your school.

You can seek updates via:

National covid-19 health information hotline: 1800 020 080

The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Your local GP or Community Health Centre Education NT Facebook page

Download the “Coronavirus Australia” government app in the Apple App Store or Google Play Join Coronavirus Australia WhatsApp channel on iOS or Android.

Mental health support

Such a large scale event can take a toll on our mental health. Professional and confidential support is available staff can seek assistance through their HR unit or arrange counselling sessions directly with one of the nominated providers through Employee Assistance Program.

During these testing times it is important to remember that you are not alone and there is always someone available to speak to if you are struggling. There are a number of support services you can reach out to, including:

Your GP can also help you access the services you need.

Last updated: 26 May 2020

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