I would like to take this opportunity to thank students, staff, teachers, parents, and carers for your cooperation during this period of increased COVID-19 restrictions in Victoria.
As all students in regional Victoria and year 11 and 12 students in metropolitan Melbourne return to on site learning, students and staff should feel reassured that, with the additional health and safety controls currently in place, it is safe for them to return and enjoy the important benefits of doing so.
Throughout the pandemic, Victorian schools have rapidly and successfully adapted to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, using COVIDSafe principles by reinforcing good behaviours, creating safe environments, modifying activities, and responding quickly to COVID-19 risk.
I am confident that with COVIDSafe plans in place, alongside our ability to quickly identify and respond to cases, eligible students and staff can return safely to school premises.
It is crucial, however, for everyone to remain vigilant by always staying home when unwell, wearing a face mask, performing regular hand hygiene, and maintaining physical distancing from others when practical.
The school community continues to have an important role to promote COVID-19 testing when a student or staff member has any symptoms, no matter how mild, and ensuring they remain home until they are well.
Getting tested and staying home until results are known is critical to limiting community transmission.
School communities should continue to check Victorian locations where there is a risk of exposure to COVID-19 and take the required public health actions. The list of current exposure sites can be found on case alerts – public exposure sites.
We encourage all members of the school community to get vaccinated if eligible. Further information on vaccinations and eligibility can be found on COVID-19 vaccines.
Adj Clin Prof Brett Sutton
Victorian Chief Health Officer