Should I keep my healthy child home from school/childcare during this pandemic?

Acting on medical advice, the Australian Government recommends that schools should remain open at this time. School closures do not appear to be an effective way to prevent community transmission of COVID-19 and there is a low rate of confirmed COVID-19 cases among children relative to the broader population.

If your child has returned from any overseas travel, they will be in quarantine at a specific location and will not be able to attend school during this time.

If your child comes into close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 coronavirus (including close contact in the 48 hours before the person became unwell) they should be isolated for 14 days from the last contact — even if they’re healthy. This means your child will not be able to go to school or childcare.

If a public health authority has informed you that your child is a close contact of a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 — even if they don’t have symptoms — they can’t go to school or childcare until the authority tells you it is safe for them to do so.

If none of these circumstances apply to your child and they are feeling well, they can go to school or childcare.

If your child develops symptoms, such as fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath, use the healthdirect Symptom Checker to find out what to do next.

CHECK YOUR SYMPTOMS — Use the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Symptom Checker to find out if you need to seek medical help.

If the Symptom Checker tells you to contact your GP, please make sure you call your doctor to describe your child’s symptoms and contact with a confirmed or probable coronavirus (COVID-19) case. You can also attend a COVID-19 clinic in your area.

The Australian Government Department of Health has more information for parents, schools and early childhood centres.