Approved Early Childhood services

What is the process for positive cases in ECECs?

The latest NSW Government COVID-19 advice on ECEC can be found here. This process is to be used by all services who get a positive case in their service. The steps below should be completed within 24 hours of notification of the positive case.

  1. Lodge an I01 – health emergency notification in NQA ITS
  2. Determine infectious period of positive case (48 hours prior to positive COVID test or from the onset of symptoms, whichever is earlier)
  3. Determine contacts.
  4. Send all contacts (parents, staff, visitors) the risk of COVID-19 letter and factsheet from NSW Health.
  5. Undertake a thorough clean of your service.

Positive cases from household settings must self-isolate for 7 days from the day they were tested. Positive cases can only leave self-isolation after 7 days if they do not have a sore throat, runny nose, cough or shortness of breath. They do not require medical clearance.

If there is a positive case in your service, all staff, children and visitors who were in attendance with the case for the 48 hours prior to the positive COVID-19 swab (PCR or Rapid Antigen test), will be deemed a contact.

After a COVID positive case at your service, you will need to undertake a thorough clean and disinfection of all areas. Please note:

  • Your usual cleaning staff can do the cleaning.
  • NSW Health does not require you to use specialised cleaning companies however, you can if you want to.

The NSW Government is distributing a small supply of RAHT kits to approved early childhood services for staff use.

What is the process for close contacts (i.e. household contacts)?

Only household contacts (i.e., a person who lives with someone who has COVID) are required by NSW Health to isolate for 7 days unless the person has previously tested positive to COVID and ended their isolation for this in the past 28 days. Previously, those that had been with a positive case for 4 or more hours was also considered a close contact – the definition has now changed and this no longer makes someone a close contact (i.e. close contacts are household contacts only).

There is an exemption in place to allow ECEC staff identified close contacts (household contacts) to leave isolation for the purpose of attending ECEC. Currently the PHO exemption requires these people to have a PCR test and then RAHT tests daily for the 7-day isolation period and notify the school of the outcome of each test. The exemption from isolation is only to attend school/OHSC, at other times the person must comply with the isolation requirements.