School students across NSW will start going back to school from May 11, one day a week initially while building up to a full-time return to the classroom from late July.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Tuesday said public, Catholic and independent schools were all on board with the plan. Schools are currently open amid the coronavirus pandemic but students are recommended to learn from home.
Current restrictions will remain in place for the first two weeks of term two through to May 11, when students will need to attend school one day per week.
No more than a quarter of the school cohort will be on campus at one time.
The government would aim for a full-time return to school in term three, starting in late July.
“Will it be the same as kids going to school under normal circumstances? No, it won’t,” Ms Berejiklian told reporters on Tuesday.
“We’ve made sure we’ve used this time not just to build up our online capacity but we’ve also made sure we have enough hand sanitisers, soap, and all those things which make a school community feel safe.”
Schools will also have the ability to temperature check students where appropriate and cleaning protocols will be ramped up.
Six new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed on Tuesday in NSW, taking the state total to 2969, with 21 people in intensive care.
It’s the second consecutive day in which six new cases have been confirmed.
“We can now see a definite trend forming in terms of the reduced number of cases. But I do also want to stress that sometimes it just takes a handful of people to do the wrong thing to have all this hard work go to waste,” Ms Berejiklian said.
More than 1750 people have fully recovered from COVID-19 in the state, chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant told reporters.
For NSW health authorities, stopping the spread of COVID-19 cases linked to a nursing home in western Sydney where 42 people have become infected remains the focus.
NSW Health on Monday confirmed that a second person at the Newmarch House nursing home in Caddens, a 94-year-old man, had died.
Newmarch House is home to about 100 people, with 28 residents and 14 staff infected with coronavirus as of Monday night and strict isolation protocols in place.
The 94-year-old man was the second person from the facility to die of the virus after a 93-year-old male resident died the previous day.
Their deaths brought the state’s COVID-19 death toll to 30.
A worker with very mild symptoms entered Newmarch House on six consecutive days, leading Dr Chant to warn even those with minimal symptoms should avoid work and get tested.