Covid-19: Masks back at Noarlunga Downs and Salisbury Park primary schools in SA

Home Health Covid-19: Masks back at Noarlunga Downs and Salisbury Park primary schools in SA
Covid-19: Masks back at Noarlunga Downs and Salisbury Park primary schools in SA

Masks will be reintroduced in two South Australian schools as the state’s current Covid wave sidelines hundreds of students and teachers.

SA Health has ordered adults working at or visiting Noarlunga Downs and Salisbury Park primary schools to wear masks, while primary aged students can only be “strongly encouraged” under the state’s pandemic laws.

Education Minister Blair Boyer ruled out imposing blanket restrictions on all South Australian schools for the remainder of term four, saying the summer holidays would provide a “natural circuit breaker” for transmission between students and teachers.

“We are better positioned than we were … it does put a lot of pressure on the system of course when we lose staff like that, it does affect students and their learning,” Mr Boyer said.

“(The summer holidays) will be enough for us to reset. Hopefully then we pass this wave and we can start the 2023 school year afresh.”

SA Health said 715 infected students were absent last Friday along with 346 staff.

Those figures were more than double the end of term three, when 295 students and 72 teachers were absent due to Covid.

In its weekly update on Friday, SA Health said 9,000 new cases had been reported in the past week.

There were 6,601 active cases across the state and 140 people in hospital, with 11 patients in ICU.

Chief public health officer Nicola Spurrier said the state was likely close to the peak of the current wave, with cases beginning to plateau.

“We are very hopeful that we will be on the other side of that wave well before Christmas, so we can all enjoy a healthy Christmas,” she said.

Prof Spurrier confirmed PCR drive-through testing sites would all be closed across the state by January 8.

PCR tests would no longer be free without a referral from a GP after this time, she said.

“I love those drive-through sites and will feel sad when we shut the last one,” Prof Spurrier said.

“But in another sense, it’s a celebration that we’ve got to this stage in the pandemic where we don’t need that pandemic response.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.