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HWIW working in schools during COVID-19 OHS guide
To ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of department employees and to minimise the risk exposure to biological hazards, the department has developed this OHS guidance to support Health, Wellbeing and Inclusion Workforces (HWIW).
Directions issued by the Victorian Chief Health Officer
This advice has been prepared having regard to the directions issued by the Victorian Chief Health Officer about restrictions on movement across the state and advice on personal safety.
Given the evolving nature of the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, this advice is subject to change. All staff are encouraged to review the latest advice and directions issued by the Victorian Chief Health Officer at DHHS — .
Staff are encouraged to continue accessing the Employee health, safety and wellbeing support during (staff login required).
Face masks and personal protective equipment (PPE)
Face masks should be worn as per the Victorian Chief Health Officer guidance. As guidance may differ across the state staff should check the latest government directives and guidance.
When directed by the Victorian Chief Health Officer, HWIW should follow the guidance and wear face masks in school settings unless an exemption applies, or there is a requirement for ‘clear enunciation or visibility of their mouth’ (for example, when undertaking a speech therapy intervention or working with individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing). Face shields/screens are not a suitable alternative to a face mask.
All regional staff, including HWIW, are encouraged to maintain good hand hygiene practices. Hand sanitiser is readily available in all schools and should be provided for the staff member if required.
Mandatory staff testing
Staff must check current guidance regarding mandatory testing when moving between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria. Refer to the COVID-19 advice for Victorian government schools.
Guidance for vulnerable staff or those caring for vulnerable family members
See guidance for vulnerable staff or those caring for vulnerable family members in the COVID-19 advice for Victorian government schools.
HWIW should consult the department’s COVID-19 – Human Resources webpage for up-to-date information. Managers should refer all queries about leave associated with high-risk employees by contacting email@example.com
Specific actions you can take
All department staff are required to complete the eLearn module School infection prevention and control during (staff login required).
HWIW are expected to apply this guidance as appropriate to their work environment in schools or early childhood settings.
Reviewed 22 February 2023