As children return to school in Western Australia, the education minister has warned non-vaccinated parents that they may not be allowed to volunteer in classrooms when COVID-19 case numbers rise.
the main points:
- Vaccination is not necessary for parents to volunteer at school one day a week
- Education Minister says that will change when coronavirus cases rise
- About 90 teachers and educational assistants have not proven vaccination
In other states, unvaccinated adults are not allowed on school sites today, Sue Elleary said, with case numbers running into the thousands.
With the number of cases currently low in WA, she said, the advice from the Chief Health Officer (CHO) was that the current settings for education sites were appropriate.
“For now, you should be vaccinated if you are going to school more than once a week,” said Ms. Ellery.
“That will change when the CHO gives us advice on what we also need to do when case numbers rise.”
Ms Ellery said it was “most likely” that unvaccinated people would not be able to go to school premises for activities such as volunteering.
She said there are no mandatory vaccination plans for children.
Preparing for increased cases
The government had announced that 12,000 air purifiers would be introduced in schools to improve ventilation for the new period.
Ms Ellery said all schools had air purifiers, which included High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters.
Not all purifiers were in the classroom, she said, with plans to “move them around as the seasons change.”
As noted in last week’s announcement about changes in schools, Ms Ellery said children younger than year three are expected to wear masks when the number of COVID-19 cases increases.
The education minister said students below this level would also be encouraged to wear masks where possible.
About 90 teachers and assistants are missing
Ms Ellery said the final figure for the number of fully vaccinated education staff was expected tomorrow, and today is the last day for them to upload the guide.
“I can tell you in terms of those teachers and teaching assistants who loaded a single dose, 0.5 percent of those didn’t, so we’re expecting the same kind of numbers tomorrow,” she said.
“It’s about 90 [teachers and assistants].
“Having said that, there is a teacher in front of every classroom today.”
Ms. Ellery said the Department of Education and Schools has worked hard to fill vacancies across the state, with more than 700 new graduates entering classrooms today.