New health advice for close contacts linked to WA schools

6 March 2022

WA Health has introduced new rules for close contacts of COVID-19 cases linked to schools, based on public health advice.

Icon of a parent and child in a house

Parents and carers are no longer required to automatically quarantine with a child who is identified as a close contact of a COVID-19 case.

Depending on the child’s needs, one parent or carer may still need to stay home to care for them while the child is quarantining.

Parents and carers of children who are close contacts need to take extra precautions and limit interaction with the close contact where possible and monitor themselves for symptoms. If symptoms arise, they should get tested immediately.

The rest of the household, including siblings who have not been identified as close contacts, can attend work or school, and should also monitor themselves for symptoms.

It is important that the whole Western Australian community continue to do their part to keep themselves and others safe.

These rules have been introduced to minimise the impact on families when children are identified as close contacts, including enabling siblings who have not been identified as close contacts to continue to attend school.

There are steps that people in this situation can take to protect themselves and their family.

The family should:

  • minimise physical contact with the close contact
  • sleep separately from the close contact
  • use a separate bathroom from the close contact if possible
  • wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser
  • cover coughs and sneezes
  • regularly clean all surfaces (such as tabletops, doorknobs and bathroom fixtures) by using household disinfectant or diluted bleach solution
  • wear a mask in shared areas or when caring for other members of their household.

Families who have a child at home in quarantine because of being a close contact should minimise non-essential interaction with family members who are elderly, immunocompromised or have medical conditions such as heart, lung or kidney problems.

Read more about quarantine and isolation.