State Matters - 29 November 2021
UPDATED SCHOOLS COVID ADVICE
THE school year may be drawing to a close for 2021, however, changes to COVID settings apply from this week.
Close contacts of COVID cases at schools and outside school hours care services will no longer need to isolate following recent Doherty Institute and NSW Health advice.
Students who are close contacts will be required to get a PCR test, if the PCR test is negative the student may return to school immediately and then provide negative Rapid Antigen Home Test results for the next seven consecutive days.
NSW Health has also advised that schools do not need to close for deep environmental cleans as the enhanced cleaning in place at schools is sufficient.
Meantime, schools can plan for graduations and formals from 1 December with events allowed within cohorts, either on school sites or at external venues.
On school sites students in the cohort may attend regardless of vaccination status although off sites events must comply with any COVID-safe requirements for that venue.
COVID ROADMAP REVISED
Adjustments have been made to the roadmap for easing restrictions after NSW reaches the 95 per cent double dose vaccination target, or 15 December, whichever comes first.
The NSW Government changes include:
Masks only being required on public transport and planes, at airports, and for indoors front-of-house hospitality staff who are not fully vaccinated. Masks will be strongly encouraged in settings where you cannot social distance;
QR check-ins only required at high-risk venues including hospitals, aged and disability care facilities, gyms, places of worship, funerals or memorial services, personal services (e.g. hairdressers and beauty salons), limited hospitality settings (including pubs, small bars, registered clubs and nightclubs), and for indoor music festivals with more than 1,000 people;
Proof of vaccination will no longer be required by Public Health Order for most activities (businesses can still require proof at their own discretion). Proof of vaccination will still be required for indoor music festivals with more than 1,000 people;
No crowd density limits; and,
COVID safety plans will be optional for businesses and will be supported by SafeWork NSW.
The easing of restrictions was made possible by NSW’s high level of vaccination but to maintain immunity a booster vaccination program has commenced for people aged 18 and older who received their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine six months ago or more.
Stay informed at https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19
MORE HELP FOR YOUTH
As a part of the NSW Government’s Regional Recovery Package, the Regional Youth Community Coordinators (RY-CCs) program is being expanded across all regions to assist young people and their communities recover from what has been a harrowing two years of natural disasters and COVID-19.
The Regional Youth Community Coordinator program has been allocated $9 million with $11.3 million for the Children and Young People Wellbeing Initiative.
The RY-CCs will facilitate conversations, community events, social activities and wellbeing programs for young people ensuring their voices are heard every step of the way.
NEW PRACTICAL SUPPORT FOR SURVIVORS OF SUICIDE
Anyone impacted by suicide now has access to a new support service to help them navigate the day-to-day challenges brought about by the tragic death of a member of their community.
The service will provide a range of resources for loved ones and families impacted, including counselling to help them access financial assistance and guiding them through the coronial process
The state-wide rollout of post-suicide support services is a joint investment by the NSW and Commonwealth Governments.
To find out more or to access these services, please call 1300 727 247 at any time or visit https://standbysupport.com.au
For anyone who is struggling, helplines for support and advice include Lifeline 13 11 14, Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 and NSW Mental Health Line 1800 011 511.
ROAD SAFETY FUNDING
Community groups have the opportunity to have their say on road safety initiatives, with round seven of the NSW Government’s Community Road Safety Grants program now open.
It allows local people who know their roads and travel them every day to implement projects and programs that can have a positive impact on their communities.
Grants of up to $5000 are available for road safety projects that involve community engagement to improve road safety awareness in local communities. Larger grants of up to $30,000 are also available.
Applications must be submitted by 4pm, Wednesday 15 December, 2021.
For more information; https://roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au/aboutthecentre/communitygrants/index.html
ARTS AND CULTURAL FUNDING
Applications are open for the 2022-23 Local Government Authorities Arts and Cultural Projects funding round to be delivered through Create NSW.
The funding will give local councils the opportunity to deliver exceptional arts and cultural projects, activities, and events for communities across NSW.
In its third year, this unique round for local government is especially important for artists and creative communities in Regional NSW, where local government facilities play a big role in supporting local artists.
Applications for one, two or three years of funding are now open and close 24 January 2022 for projects that will occur between 1 July 2022 and 31 December 2023.
Discover more at https://www.create.nsw.gov.au
NOMINATE REMARKABLE SPORTSWOMEN
Nominations are now open for the annual Her Sport Her Way Awards to recognise and celebrate the achievements of women and girls in sport.
The awards are a key initiative in the NSW Government’s ‘Her Sport Her Way’ Year Three Action Plan to advance equality in sport.
These awards are an opportunity to showcase our trailblazers in sport and inspire the younger generation to get involved at all levels.
Nominations close on Friday 14 January 2022 with award winners to be celebrated at a ceremony next year.
For more information, see https://sport.nsw.gov.au/hersportherway