Public Health Measures Term 1 2022
COVID-19 Testing and Isolation
The State Government recently amended the testing and isolation protocols which came into effect from Tuesday 8 February, 2022. Under these protocols a new definition of close contact will apply, casual contacts will cease, and new isolation and testing rules will take effect.
Though this is an ever-evolving situation, current advice dictates that you will be considered to be a close contact if:
- You are a household member or intimate partner of a person with COVID-19 who has had contact with them during their infectious period; or
- You have had close personal interaction with a person with COVID-19 during their infectious period, for example:
- Had at least 15 minutes face-to-face contact where a mask was not worn by the exposed person or the person with COVID-19; or
- Greater than two hours within a small room with a case during their infectious period, where masks have been removed for this period; or
- Someone who is directed by WA Health that they are a close contact
Understanding the intent of Government policy to limit the numbers of people isolating unnecessarily once high daily caseloads are recorded in the community, the Public Transport Authority (PTA) will treat any confirmed positive COVID case from a student or driver/contractor as a casual contact for all other passengers on the bus, unless directed otherwise by WA Health.
This decision has been made because no student will spend more than two hours on a school bus on a one way journey. Where a student or driver is identified as a confirmed positive, then the individual will need to isolate for 7 days and undertake the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) or Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) positive protocols. Working with the contractor the PTA will inform all parents of students on the approved passenger list that they should monitor for symptoms and if feeling unwell to isolate and follow the PCR and RAT protocols. School bus operators will need to provide cover in the event drivers/ bus aides have to isolate. Any issues concerning meeting service obligations due to relief drivers should be raised with your Contract Officer as soon as possible.
The same procedures highlighted above will also apply for students identified as close contacts in the class room and require to self-isolate for 7 days as advised by the Department of Education.
Please note the Department of Education’s decision to cohort students at school to reduce the possible spread of COVID will not in introduced on school buses for practical reasons due to the fact that spacing between students will be difficult to achieve. The current mask protocols remain the mechanism to reduce the spread of COVID on the bus.