Work together, stay calm, follow medical advice: Tehan issues COVID-19 advice
“As the Prime Minister has said, Australia will confront the challenge of COVID-19 and we will emerge stronger. The best thing we can all do is work together, stay calm and follow the expert medical advice,” Federal Minister for Education Dan Tehan said yesterday, while much of the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector looks to peak bodies and other trusted sources for advice and information about how best to manage potential COVID-19 outbreaks in their communities.
The safety of all Australians is the number one priority for all levels of government as they work together to address the impact of COVID-19 on education, Mr Tehan said, speaking about the first National Coordination Mechanism (NCM) meeting which was convened earlier this week to co-ordinate planning across all levels of government, and identify what events will activate a response from the broader education sector.
The NCM is part of the Government’s response under the Communicable Disease Plan and COVID-19 Pandemic Plan. The NCM will bring together the work produced by other groups, such as the Education Sector Pandemic Preparedness Committee and the Global Reputation Taskforce.
“Our number one priority has been, and always will be, the safety of Australians and our response to COVID-19 is informed by expert medical advice,” Mr Tehan said. “The Federal Government, states and territories and the private sector are working together to develop consistent responses.
In order to address risks, gaps and priorities in relation to COVID-19, a collaborative course of action was being taken by various groups, supporting one another by sharing information, expertise and best practice.
“For example, New South Wales was the first state to deal with a school closure and they are sharing their insights and experience to support other states and territories in the event of a school closure in their jurisdiction,” Mr Tehan said.
“All education ministers are in regular contact and we agree that to the greatest extent possible we should have a nationally consistent response to COVID-19. We also agree that parents, carers, children and the community should receive consistent and informative communication,” he added.
For up to date information about COVID-19 cases in their communities, ECEC services have been encouraged to follow the relevant health department website for their state or territory. Federal level information is available here.