Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokesperson
The Gutwein Government’s “updated’ Covid school plan denies the reality of massive case numbers in unprotected children. It makes no change to current inadequate Covid-safe protections for children in classrooms across Tasmania.
Under Greens’ questioning in Parliament, the Education Minister confirmed 1747 school children in government schools have tested Covid positive so far, but was silent on the number of Covid cases among the around 25,000 children in non-government schools.
Primary school children have not been fully vaccinated. They are at risk of Covid infection, and of developing potentially serious and disabling long Covid if they do.
Despite this, Minister Jaensch’s dystopian “updated” school plan claims it builds on the “successful start to the Term”. Well, what a success – 1700+ infections to date.
Not a single measure in the government’s forward planning improves on the hopelessly inadequate protective measures taken so far.
There is no plan to expand ventilation upgrades in non-perimeter rooms, no plan for where children currently in outdoor learning areas will be schooled as winter brings freezing and driving rain. There is certainly no detail about the needs of children living with a disability or those with suppressed immune systems.
Minister Jaensch needs to release daily figures of the number of Covid cases in all Tasmanian primary and high schools - Tasmanians have the right to know. Mr Jaensch must also release a new Covid-safe school plan that details how all children will be schooled safely in classrooms that have safe air ventilation.