Thursday 12 March, 11.00am

Thursday 12 March, 11.00am

Yesterday (11 March), the World Health Organization (WHO) have declared coronavirus a pandemic, and the Australian Government has added Italy to the list of travel restrictions, alongside China, Iran and South Korea. 

Queensland Health and the Australian Department of Health are working tirelessly to manage and contain the impact of this virus for Australians and Queenslanders alike. They are regularly updating travel advice via https://www.smartraveller.gov.... as new information emerges.

As a school community, please continue to remain alert, but not alarmed.  Update from the Principal's Office with some more information about the approach that Somerville House might need to take if a COVID-19 case is identified in our school. 

If a case is identified in our school, Queensland Health will work closely with us in managing our response and our actions will be taken with community health at the centre of our decision making.

If there is a confirmed case at Somerville House, it is likely the School will need to close for a period to allow the health authorities to assess the situation and to perform contact tracing as required to identify visitors, students and staff who may have come in contact with the COVID-19 case. You may have already seen this happening in other states where confirmed cases have been identified and reported in the media.  

We will then conduct specialised cleaning of our facilities as required to ensure our school is safe for students and staff to return when clearance is given. A closure is likely to include any on-site services such as Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) and other facility hirers.

Continuity of learning is extremely important to us and, as in other disaster and emergency events, we would work with online learning materials and virtual classroom capability that can be used by teachers to support your child’s learning.  

If your child develops flu-like symptoms, please:

  • keep your child at home;
  • avoid close contact with others such as touching, kissing or hugging, or any mass gatherings, especially those involving other children;
  • see a doctor or contact 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) immediately;
  • seek medical advice if your child has other underlying medical conditions; and 
  • call ahead to the medical centre or doctor’s surgery, advising of your child’s symptoms and the closure of our school.

It is also important to continue to encourage your children to:

  • wash their hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, particularly before and after eating, and after going to the toilet;
  • use alcohol-based hand sanitiser if soap is unavailable;
  • cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of their elbow; and 
  • dispose of tissues in the bin immediately.

Further advice and information about the coronavirus is available on the Queensland Health website: http://conditions.health.qld.g...

As a community, during this preparation phase, it may be timely for families to consider their own family and care arrangements should school closure be necessary.

Again, while you can be reassured that we are taking all necessary measures to contain COVID-19, it is important for me to keep information flowing to parents/carers and staff to ensure we are all informed and prepared as a community, should this public health issue come into our school.

Please be assured that Somerville House will continue to monitor updates from the Australian Government, Department of Education and Queensland Health closely, and we will provide updates as details come to hand.