News & Events

COVID-safe return to school


Catherine McAuley College receives COVID-19 guidelines from the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria. These guidelines are available in the download box below and are critical in our preparation for the commencement of the year and our planning for Term 1.

The Victorian Government’s Back-To-School plan maintains the importance of the 3Vs: Ventilation, Vaccination and Vital COVID Safe steps – face masks, physical distancing, hygiene and testing, in particular Rapid Antigen Testing.

Face masks

  • Students are to wear a mask to school and are reminded to bring spare masks to have in their bag and locker at school.
  • Wearing a mask is required for everyone aged 8 and above in all indoor settings in Victoria. The full details of the mask rules can be found on the Victorian Government website. The N95 masks offer much greater protection against Omicron variants than cloth masks.
  • Masks are required indoors and on public transport. It is recommended to wear a mask outside if you can’t physically distance, if you have any symptoms, or if you are with people who may be vulnerable to COVID-19.
  • Remember, masks must cover both nose and mouth to be effective.

Rapid antigen testing (RA testing)

  • Free RA tests will be made available for all students and staff for the first four weeks of Term 1 2022.
  • RA testing is voluntary for students and staff.
  • The RA testing recommendations for secondary school students and staff is twice weekly (school days).
  • Students and staff will do the tests at home and must report any positive test results to the College.
  • Information about how to do a test, including a how-to video translated into 33 languages is available online (including Karen).

Distribution of test kits to families

  • RA test kits are due to arrive at the College for the commencement of Term 1. The College is currently awaiting delivery of these.
  • Tests will be provided in packs of five individual tests. Each student will receive one pack at the start of Week 1 and one pack at the start of Week 3.
  • The College will inform parents and carers by SMS on the day test kits are being sent home with students.

Test results and reporting

This information was updated on 31 January 2022.

  • All students who return a positive result from a rapid antigen test should follow the latest advice at
  • Notify the Department of Health via the COVID-19 Positive Rapid Antigen Test Self-Reporting Form or call centre on 1800 675 398.
  • Students (or their parents) must also report a positive result to the College, via PAM – Parent Notified Absence or by calling the College on 5445 9100 (normal notification of absence); this is so the College can support them, record that they will be absent while in 7-day isolation, and let the rest of the school community know there has been a positive case onsite and that they should monitor for symptoms.

What to do if your child tests positive to COVID-19, either through RA test or PCR test:

  • They must isolate at home or in private accommodation for 7 days (inclusive of weekends) and not attend school during this period.
  • Inform the College, via PAM – Parent Notified Absence or by calling the College on 5445 9100 (normal notification of absence), that your child has tested positive for COVID-19. A negative test is not required to return to school following the completion of 7 days of isolation.
  • Follow the Checklist for COVID cases.

What to do if your child is a household contact or house-like contact*:
* If they have spent more than four hours with someone who has COVID-19 inside a house, accommodation, or care facility. Contact at school is not included in this definition, unless contact has occurred in a school-based residential setting, e.g. school camp.

  • Notify the College that your child is a household or household-like contact.
  • Students must quarantine for 7 days (inclusive of weekends) and must not attend school during this period.
  • Follow the Checklist for COVID contacts.

What to do if your child has been in contact with a case of COVID-19, including at school or at work:

  • If asymptomatic, your child should continue to attend school and monitor for symptoms.
  • If symptomatic, they must stay/return home, take a rapid antigen test, or get a PCR test if a RA test kit is unavailable.
  • On receipt of a negative test result, and if well enough, your child can return to school.
  • If your child is too unwell to attend school, usual absence procedures apply.
  • Follow the Checklist for COVID contacts.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the College by phoning 5445 9100.