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NSW Covid lockdown: Will schools reopen next week?

Just days out from the planned start of Term 3, health authorities uttered five words that will put fear in the hearts of all Sydney parents. NSW officials have fallen short of providing hotly-anticipated answers on whether schools will return for Term 3 as planned from next week. Greater Sydney’s two-week coronavirus lockdown is due to be lifted at midnight Friday, but it seems there is intensifying doubt restrictions will be eased on schedule. The volatile situation has done little to ease the minds of those running busy households, with chief health officer Kerry Chant articulating five words likely to crush working parents on Monday.

When pressed for a deadline on school reopening, Dr. Chant told reporters, “That is for another time”.

“We are monitoring the situation regularly. We will provide regular updates to the government, and the government is considering, and keeping a close eye on, how the situation evolves,” she said. “I think our focus at the moment is those key messages of getting everyone tested, please, with the most minimal symptoms.” The finer details of how a return-to-school process would unfold under coronavirus restrictions had also yet to be ironed out. “I will provide my advice through the government processes, but we have worked hand in glove with education right throughout this; we have also engaged with the independent and Catholic sectors, and we will be keeping them updated,” she said.

Covid lockdown

“Those decisions are yet to be made, but as a general sense, some of the things that we have looked at are things that we have had in place earlier.” Some strategies were floated to minimize parents’ contact during school drop-offs, prevent parent functions and gatherings, and reduce school grade mixing. “All of those strategies that I think parents will have remembered from various points in the response are some of the strategies that have stood us in good stead, and I think they’re the sorts of things that would be informing policy thinking,” NSW confirmed 35 new Covid-19 cases overnight, bringing the total number of patients in the outbreak to 312. Premier Gladys Berejiklian expressed early optimism last week that the two-week lockdown would end on time. After recording 22 new cases on Wednesday, Ms. Berejiklian said if the situation continued tracking a similar path, Sydneysiders would be freed as planned.

“I just remind everybody that if we continue to do the right thing, if we make sure we are following the health advice, that we can get out of this in the time frame we’ve described,” she said.

There have since, however, been several days where more than 30 cases have been reported, with any notable decline in numbers still yet to occur. The premier predicted that there would be higher case levels on Friday before the positive impact of the lockdown was revealed in numbers. “We are anticipating an increase in numbers over the next few days … hopefully, early next week, we should see the impact of the lockdown turning and having a positive impact,” she said.

The state recorded 16 new cases on Sunday and 35 on Saturday.

Molly Aronson

I'm an award-winning blogger who enjoys all things creative but is especially passionate about lifestyle design. I blog over at mehlogy.com I love that I get to share my passion for healthy living, fashion, fitness, and travel with readers from all over the world.

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