A sudden rise in coronavirus infections has been identified in several areas in Victoria since the easing of restrictions last month. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews warned that a statewide lockdown could be an option if the outbreaks are not contained properly.
As of June 30, there are 10 Melbourne postcodes that are deemed hotspots by the government and will remain under quarantine until the end of July. So, residents under the restricted postcodes will not be able to leave their homes except for essential purposes.
This unexpected outbreak will affect students, parents, and schools in Victoria because some health protocols must be enforced to avoid further infections, and strict protection of students will mean implementing the new normal in school premises like social distancing and wearing of masks.
Response from the government
The government is fast to respond by spending up to $45 million on extra cleaning activities and sterilising of schools, which includes frequently touched surfaces. Schools are also advised to implement staggered drop-off systems, which is necessary to reduce the number of people congregating at the school gate.
Teachers and other staff are also required to use personal protective equipment like masks to lower the chances of transmission. Also, students are not allowed to drink from water fountains, and there will be no school assemblies, excursions, and camps.
Response from the Victorian residents
Victorian residents and businesses have adapted the new normal, and they are willing to follow health protocols to protect their families and the community. This means social distancing will be implemented in various businesses, and residents will minimise their activities outside of their houses, like avoiding non-essential outings in the community.
What if you’re in a hotspot?
If you’re in a hotspot and you and/or a family member are not feeling well, it is essential that you call a health professional to get the needed treatment and support. However, if you don’t have any of the symptoms of Covid-19, you should always protect yourself by doing the following:
Impact on schooling for the remainder of the year
Although schools in Victoria are not officially closed, the recent events have already changed the way schools operate. In fact, they are now more vigilant in implementing health protocols as well as regular cleaning of essential facilities. Teachers, students, and parents must also adjust to the new normal, which is currently in effect in various countries around the world.
Schools might also leverage technology more during this pandemic, so teachers will communicate and collect lessons and assignments using websites, emails, cloud storage, and videoconferencing software. Students will also form study groups online to tackle their homework and other school activities.
So, will schools lockdown again in Victoria?
It all depends on our current situation and the actions of the government to contain the outbreaks in several hotspots, and limit the spread of transmission. So let's all do our part to try and limit interactions and infections so that schools and businesses, including in home tuition, can continue to function as normally as possibe.