Pre-emptive closures of schools is unlikely to be effective as a means of preventing community transmission of coronavirus, Tasmania's Director of Public Health Mark Veitch says.
Dr Veitch's statement comes as Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff says schools will remain open as long as it is safe.
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"At this time the best advice we have from our Public Health officials is that continuing to keep schools open whilst exercising good hygiene practices is appropriate," Mr Rockliff said.
Mr Rockliff cancelled gatherings including school assemblies and school excursions.
However, Mr Rockliff said school closures may still be necessary depending on health advice.
By contrast, Scotch Oakburn College in Launceston will close its campus for a fortnight and allow students to learn online.
Dr Veitch said that previous respiratory epidemics showed that the benefits of school closures were often overestimated while the costs were underestimated.
"Previous work suggests that the potential reduction in community transmission from pre-emptive school closures may be offset by the care arrangements that are in place for children," he said.
"Children may require care from vulnerable grandparents or may continue to transmit infection outside of school setting."
He said that for pre-emptive school closures to be effective prolonged closure would be required and it was presently unclear when they could be re-opened.
Dr Veitch said there was limited information on the contribution of children to COVID-19 spread.
Catholic Education Tasmania, which comprises 38 schools and 16,000 students, will not be closing schools.