School enforces new mask mandate
A high school in Sydney’s outer southwestern suburbs has introduced a temporary mask mandate after a Covid outbreak, asking some year levels to study from home.
Liverpool Girls High School (LGHS) made the announcement on Tuesday, revealing masks would be compulsory for the next several days.
“Due to an increase in Covid cases in our community, mask wearing will be mandatory for all staff, students and visitors to LGHS for the next five days from May 16,” a post to social media read.
The following day, the school of around 900 students announced that year levels 9 to 11 would be required to study from home for three days.
“Years 7, 8 and 12 will be learning at school and are expected to attend … Years 9, 10 and 11 will be learning from home and are expected to be online at 9.30am,” the school said.
“These measures will be in place Wednesday 17 to Friday 19 May.
“We ask that parents advise the school if their child tests positive to Covid-19 and keep their child at home if they are displaying cold and flu-like symptoms.”
The NSW Department of Education said that while the classroom was the best place for students to learn, this must be “balanced” with the health, safety and wellbeing of students and staff.
“The department uses a variety of layered Covid-smart measures in schools,” a department spokesperson said.
“Some year groups may be asked to learn from home where there is Covid-19 impact within a school setting – on average, this is for three days.
“All schools continue to provide supervision for those students who cannot remain at home.”
The department also said fewer than 1 per cent of students in the state have been asked to spend time learning from home due to the government’s temporary Covid-19 measures.
While parents were advised that studying from home information would be available through an online portal, some claimed they hadn’t received enough information.
“My daughter has not been told what she needs,” one parent wrote on social media.
It has been more than six months since the state scrapped the last of its mask mandates, although current NSW Health advice does encourage wearing a mask in “crowded, indoor spaces”.
Current advice also advises those with cold and flu symptoms to get tested and stay at home.
Orange High School, a co-ed secondary school in regional NSW, has also reportedly asked students from years 7 to 10 to study from home this week amid their own outbreak.
Earlier this month, the World Health Organisation declared Covid-19 was no longer a global health emergency.
LGHS has declined to comment.