Schools on alert for coronavirus symptoms
Schools are being warned to look out for students or staff displaying symptoms of the deadly coronavirus.
As tens of thousands of kids return from the Christmas break this week, education officials have contacted principals about the contagious disease.
"The department has sent an email to principals outlining the potential threat of the coronavirus to Australia," a spokeswoman said.
"Principals have been encouraged to monitor children and staff closely for any strange illnesses and to follow the NSW Health guidelines."
School administrators have been encouraged to familiarise themselves with the symptoms of the disease, especially in those who have recently returned from China. Catholic schools have also begun contacting principals ahead of the new school year.
Parramatta Catholic Education Office executive director Greg Whitby said school leaders were being asked to keep up with the latest health advisories.
"In a communication to be sent over the Australia Day long weekend, we will be reminding principals to stay up-to-date with the latest advice Department of Health, which has well established mechanisms to respond to matters such as this," he said in a statement.
The department will monitor the development of the coronavirus spread in Australia and will update schools regularly. Most students across the state return to class on Wednesday or Thursday with some private schools not back until the following week.