Students who are close contacts should have a PCR test as soon as possible after being notified of any exposure.
They will be able to return to school immediately after returning a negative result, but they must provide negative fast antigen home test results for the next seven consecutive days.
Masks will still be required for all school staff and high school students, however, music instruction with wind instruments and singing will be allowed outdoors within grades from Monday.
Education Secretary Sarah Mitchell said the changes would reduce disruption to students and families while still maintaining security measures for everyone on site.
“Students who are already isolated can return to school from Monday under this new approach,” she said.
Despite the state government’s decision to change the isolation rules for school children, Deputy Health Chief Marianne Gale said Thursday that authorities saw significant infection in schools and asked parents to keep children at home if they have symptoms.
Seven state schools in Sydney were closed due to COVID-19 incidents on Thursday: Auburn Girls High, Bass Hill Public, Belmore South Public, Carlingford Public, Fairfield West Public, Maroubra Bay Public and Sylvania High.
Since the beginning of November, about a third of the new cases have been in children aged 11 and under who are too young to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
While the majority of Sydney’s COVID-19 infections have been in the city’s southwestern and western health districts for many weeks, most cases were recorded Thursday in the southeastern local health district.
The district – which stretches from the eastern suburbs to the Sutherland Shire – reported 69 new cases, a quarter of the state’s 276 cases Thursday.
Thirteen infections were in Randwick Council, 13 were in Sutherland, 10 were in Waverley, six were in Bayside, five were in Woollahra and five were in the Georges River.
Eighty people inside a Byron backpackers hostel were placed in a seven-day lockdown Thursday after an unvaccinated employee tested positive.
Police said the COVID-positive person worked at Aquarius Backpackers and had recently been to Victoria. No further cases have been identified.
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