News reports about the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus are impossible to ignore and a potential cause of anxiety for many parents and carers with children in schools and early learning centres.
Current guidance from the Department of Health has this advice for parents:
- If your child has travelled to Hubei Province, China within the past 14 days, you should isolate them in your home for 14 days after leaving Hubei Province and if your child has been in close contact with a confirmed case of novel coronavirus, you should isolate them in your home for 14 days after last contact with the confirmed case.
- Children in these circumstances are not to attend schools or early childhood centres and should not engage with other students.
- If your child develops symptoms within 14 days of leaving Hubei Province or within 14 days of last contact with the confirmed case, you should arrange for them to see their usual doctor for urgent assessment.
Telephone the health clinic or hospital before they arrive and tell them of their travel history or that they have been in contact with a confirmed case of novel coronavirus. Their doctor will liaise with Public Health authorities to manage their care. Children must then remain isolated either in your home or a healthcare setting until Public Health authorities inform you it is safe for them to return to their usual activities.