Daily temperature checks to be implemented in Victorian ECEC sites to combat COVID-19

by Freya Lucas

July 10, 2020

The Victorian Government will provide thermometers to early childhood education and care (ECEC) services who require them as part of its push to implement daily temperature checks for children across metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire as part of efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the state.


Following the advice of Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, the Victorian Government announced yesterday that students at government schools in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will receive a temperature check every morning, with thermometers also provided to all non-government schools, and to ECEC services who require them.


More than 14,000 non-contact infrared thermometers will be given to government, independent and Catholic schools in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, and to schools in neighbouring areas who need to undertake testing, a release from Victorian Minister for Education, James Merlino noted. 


Temperature checks will also be introduced for children from metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire who attend schools outside of these local government areas.


Operational guidance on temperature checks will be delivered to relevant sites, outlining that children with a temperature of 37.5 degrees Celsius or above, will be required to return home. Families will then be encouraged to seek testing for COVID-19 or the advice of their healthcare professional who can advise on next steps.


As announced on Tuesday, students in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire enrolled in VCE and VCAL subjects, students whose parents and carers cannot work from home, and those attending local specialist schools will all return to school on Monday. In addition, on site supervised holiday programs are available next week for vulnerable students and children of essential workers.


Schools in these areas will delay the return from holidays by a week with five pupil free days for Prep to Year 10 students next week to allow teachers and school staff to prepare for a possible return to remote learning. A decision about whether these year groups can safely return to face-to-face learning will be taken in the coming week and based on the advice of health experts, the statement read.


There will be no changes to Term 3 for schools in regional Victoria other than Mitchell Shire. Schools outside of metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will return to face-to-face schooling as scheduled on Monday 13 July.


Mr Merlino said he understood the present conditions are stressful for parents, reassuring them that the Government “are following the best medical advice and taking every possible precaution to ensure the safety of all Victorians.”


To read the release from Mr Merlino in full, please see here.