Enhanced public health investigation of SARS-CoV-2 cases in Victorian schools and early childhood education and care.
Why do we need the COVID Schools study?
The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI), together with the Victorian Department of Health (DH) and the Victorian Department of Education and Training (DET), is conducting a study to increase understanding of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission in schools and Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) services. It is anticipated that the findings from this research will inform the public health response to outbreaks in schools and ECEC services.
Schools and ECEC services are an essential part of society and children’s lives. They provide safe and supportive learning environments for children and students, employ teachers and other staff, and enable parents and guardians to work.
Ultimately, we need more evidence to understand how coronavirus(COVID-19) is spread in schools and ECEC, inform the best way to respond to outbreaks, and ensure that children, students and staff are supported and can continue to learn and thrive in 2021.
What is the aim of the study?
The research aims to increase knowledge about key aspects of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission and the public health response, such as:
- the role of young children and students in coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission
- the direction of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission in schools and ECEC services
- the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on school and ECEC communities.
This research follows on from a study undertaken by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in 2020: An analysis of COVID-19 in ECEC and schools and evidence-based recommendations for opening ECEC and schools & keeping them open https://www.mcri.edu.au/sites/default/files/media/documents/covid-19_in_victorian_schools_report.pdf
Who can participate?
Eligible schools and ECEC services will be invited by MCRI to participate in the research. Participation is voluntary. The standard public health response will continue to apply in schools and ECEC services that experience a coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
General health and Wellbeing Resources
We are mindful of the pressure families are under at this difficult time. If you or your child feel worried or would like further support, we recommend contacting your healthcare provider. There are also many community supports available to you and your family during this time. Some of these are listed below.
- Lifeline on 13 11 14
- Head to Health, which provides links to online and telephone support and resources https://headtohealth.gov.au/covid-19-support/covid-19
- The Royal Children’s Hospital Kids Info Fact Sheets - rch.org.au/kidsinfo/fact_sheets/Supporting_your_child_to_cope_with_the_COVID-19_pandemic
- Kids Helpline https://kidshelpline.com.au/coronavirus or ringing them on 1800 55 1800.
If you would like more information about the project, please contact the study team led by Associate Professor Margie Danchin on: