NSW has announced its plan to minimise the impacts of virus outbreaks in schools on the upcoming HSC exams.
Schools have been advised to have a maximum of 75 students per exam room when the HSC gets underway next month.
Principals have also been asked to limit HSC students’ interaction with the rest of the school cohort and to prioritise cleaning exam rooms.
NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell says the guidelines, developed in consultation with NSW Health, have been issued to principals to ensure HSC students can sit their final exams without disruption.
“We are continuing to prioritise health advice as we support schools in planning for and operating the HSC exams. The safety of students and staff involved remains our priority,” Ms Mitchell said in a statement on Wednesday.
It comes as 100 Sydney students remain in isolation after being identified as close contacts of a boarding student at Kincoppal-Rose Bay School who tested positive to COVID-19.
All close contacts including teachers and students are in quarantine and the school has been cleaned, with the boarding facility remaining open to senior year groups.
Some year groups had been sent home because a number of boarding staff are in quarantine.
NSW recorded another nine cases of the virus on Wednesday, bringing the cluster linked to Concord and Liverpool hospitals to 12, including eight healthcare workers.
Five of the new locally-acquired cases are linked to Concord Hospital. Two are healthcare workers, one is a patient and two are household contacts of the patient.
The two healthcare staff worked at the hospital while potentially infectious but reported having no symptoms during work and wore personal protective equipment while caring for patients.
NSW recorded only one more case than Queensland on Wednesday, as frustrated NSW politicians again criticised their northern neighbour’s border stance.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian says she just doesn’t understand why Queensland’s borders are still shut to NSW.
“I’m not suggesting we’re out of the woods, but we won’t be until there’s a vaccine,” she told reporters on Wednesday.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard went further in his criticism of Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
“I can only express my supreme anger at the Queensland premier’s decision, which in my view … is nothing more than base, loopy politics,” Mr Hazzard said.
“I’m appalled by what’s going on up there.”