Communication to Families regarding the Novel Coronavirus

In recent weeks there has been growing media focus relating to the spread of the Novel Coronavirus, and we understand that this may also be a cause for concern within our own community. The Australian Government has advised that there is no cause for alarm with respect to the coronavirus and that the risk to the Australian public remains relatively low.

The information as of today is that 5 Australian cases (4 in NSW and 1 in Victoria) had direct contact with Wuhan in the Hubei province, either through living there or travelling within this region. We do not have any current international students who live in this area. The thirteen cities that have been in lockdown since Friday are all located within Hubei province. Our International Student office is currently liaising directly with families from China and our Homestay providers, offering support and guidance during this time.

The containment of such a virus relies on the informed behaviours of individuals. Accordingly we request all College families to consider if their child’s return to school needs to be delayed. This is particularly relevant if:

· Your family has recently been, or is currently in areas where the virus has been identified (i.e. the Hubei Province in China) we strongly recommend that you delay your child’s return to the College until the incubation period of 14 days has passed, to ensure they have not been infected and to assist in preventing any potential spread of the virus.

· Any individuals who have been in this region and have presented with flu like symptoms will be asked to provide a medical clearance from a GP, before they can return to the College.

· Following the advice of relevant authorities, anyone in your family who has travelled to Asia over the holiday period and feels unwell with flu-like symptoms (such as fever, cough, sore throat and difficulty breathing), should seek medical advice from their local doctor.

If a delayed return to school is necessary, teaching staff will support students with relevant materials to ensure they can keep up to date with their studies.

If you need to alert the College to the potential of a delayed start to the year for your child, please contact the relevant school area as per the details provided below:

ELC and Junior School: jnroffice@elthamcollege.vic.edu.au

Senior School: snroffice@elthamcollege.vic.edu.au

As the situation develops we will provide updates to our community regarding the measures we are putting in place. Our goal is to always provide a safe and supportive place of learning for all students, staff and families to enjoy. To that end, information reinforcing good hand and respiratory hygiene practices will be promoted with all students on their return to school.

For further information provided by the Australian Government for travellers in relation to the Coronavirus please click on the following link: Smart Traveller – Coronavirus

Information for parents provided by the Department of Education can be accessed here: Novel Coronavirus – Information for Parents

If you have any further questions please consult with your School Section Director, Clair Marshall (ELC and Junior School) or Mark Pobjoy (Senior School).

Sincerely

Simon Le Plastrier

Translations of this communication in both Mandarin and Cantonese are available below.

Mandarin Translation

Cantonese Translation