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COVID health and hygiene

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​​​​​​​​​​Illness

Children or staff showing signs of illness or feeling unwell, must stay at home. If they are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild, call your doctor or 13HEALTH (13 43 25 84) and get tested. Read more about COVID-19 and your child’s health​.

If a child is showing signs of illness, the school or service will contact the parent or carer to collect the child.

For guidance on when to send unwell children, educators or staff home from early childhood services, read the National Health and Medical Research Councils (NHMRC) preventing infectious diseases in early childhood education and care services.

Children and staff should stay at home until they no longer have symptoms and seek medical help as required.

Children do not need a medical certificate to return after they have recovered from a period of illness.

Download Queensland Health’s stop the spread of germs poster (PDF, 109KB)​ to print or send home with families.

Health support procedures for state schools

All state schools, including special schools, must implement student health plans and ensure student health support procedures are enacted at all response levels.

Employees must use gloves at all times when providing student health supports. Other personal protective equipment (PPE) may be required for certain health procedures.

For advice regarding the type of PPE required for a specific health support procedure, including correct use, please consult with your State Schools registered nurse. More information is available on the personal protective equipment for health support procedure factsheet (PDF, 156KB) available in the managing students' health support needs at school procedure​​.

Temperature screening at early childhood services

A fever is classified as a temperature reading at or above 37.5° Celsius.

  • If a child's temperature is at 37.5° Celsius or above, ask the child and their parent or carer to wait in a separate room and re-check their temperature in 15 minutes.
  • If the second reading again equals 37.5° Celsius or above, the child should return home with their parent or carer.

Educators should wash their hands before and after conducting the temperature screening each morning.

Services should have systems to ensure devices are cleaned and disinfected using disinfectant wipes or a spray when screening is finished.

Please note temperature screening does not replace the need for other important public health measures such as hand hygiene, and enhanced cleaning and disinfecting.

Students with medical conditions

Students who are unable to attend school or kindergarten due to medical reasons will be supported by their school, just as they would in the case of any extended medical absence. Students can access the learning@home​ website.

Hygiene supplies for schools

Schools should actively monitor cleaning and hygiene supplies and reorder in advance of needing additional materials. If schools are having difficulty obtaining cleaning chemicals, hygiene products (such as soap and sanitiser) or personal protective equipment (PPE) (required to perform specialised health procedures), please visit procuring COVID-19 supplies​ ( departmental employees only)​.

​Cleaning of facilities

Additional cleaning is to be implemented until further notice. Cleaning must prioritise frequently used areas with extra attention on high-touch point surfaces, such as door handles, light switches, desks, toilets, taps and sinks. This also includes sick rooms and student or child service areas.

​Food handling

Ensure food handlers in early childhood services practise hygiene as per NHMRC guidance in staying healthy: preventing infectious diseases in early childhood education and care services.

​​​Cash handling

It is strongly recommended that payments for services and activities (such as excursions, tuckshops, uniform shops or fundraisers) are ​​made electronically.

Where it is necessary to handle cash, staff must practise good hand hygiene, including washing their hands or using hand sanitiser as soon as possible once the transaction has been completed.

​Shared equipment at schools

Shared equipment, such as practical workshop resources, Industrial Technology and Design (ITD) resources, musical instruments and sports equipment used within the school, or equipment loaned to students to take home, such as books, will require appropriate cleaning and hygiene management as outlined in the COVID-19 cleaning of equipment for practical subjects (PDF, 272KB) ( departmental employees only)​​.

The loan of equipment other than books must be considered and assessed by each school on a case-by-case basis. It is recommended that these items are loaned on a long-term basis.

​Shared mobile phones

In some settings, staff may be required to share items such as mobile phones. Wherever possible, using shared mobiles should be discouraged, however, if it is necessary, staff from staff should be reminded to clean their phones regularly.​

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Last updated 17 January 2022