"A handful" of people in Canberra who recently returned from China have been tested for coronavirus, as the ACT government works to finalise its policy for students returning to school next week.
The ACT Chief Health Officer Kerryn Coleman said advice for Canberra schools about how to deal with the threat of the virus would be finalised by Wednesday morning.
Some Canberra private schools have already asked students who have travelled to China to stay home from school for two weeks from their travel.
It came before the NSW government on Tuesday told all students who have recently returned from China to stay home until after the possible 14 day incubation period had ended.
There have been four confirmed cases - three in NSW and one in Victoria - of coronavirus in Australia and another one feared.
The virus has so far killed more than 100 people in China and infected more than 2700 across the globe.
Dr Coleman said advice to ACT schools would be finalised on Wednesday morning.
"It is important to know that at the moment the evidence supports that coronavirus is spread when you get symptoms," she said.
"That is why we ask people to be on really high notice [for symptoms] if they have been in the Hubei province in the past 14 days.
"I understand that people are anxious about the situation but Australia and the ACT is really well positioned.
"We have great plans and great processes."
Dr Coleman said fewer than a handful of people were tested over the weekend for coronavirus in the ACT after returning from the affected area of China with flu-like symptoms.
All returned negative results.
"We have had several community members put up their hand. We know people are doing the right thing and contacting us, the hospital or GPs," she said.
"We know when they went to the emergency department at the hospital they did a great job in terms of knowing what to do with them."
In a letter to the school community, Canberra Grammar School head Justin Garrick said parents and students should err on the side of caution by staying home if in doubt.
"The school asks any families with members who have travelled outside Australia in the past two weeks to countries with confirmed coronavirus cases to seek independent medical advice from their doctor before returning to school," he said.
Radford College has asked parents to keep their children at home for 14 days from their return from China.
A letter to parents acknowledged the Australian government was working to detect people coming into the country with the illness, but said it was very early in the community's understanding of the outbreak.
The letter said the college's best way of managing any risk was to request students who had travelled to China to stay home.
"As school starts on 4 February 2020, your child will need to have been back in Australia by 21 January to commence school on 4 February," the letter read.
"If they arrived back in Australia after 21 January, they should not commence school until 14 days after their arrival date. During this time, you should be on the alert for symptoms."
University of Canberra deputy vice chancellor Geoff Crisp said while the university had only about 800 Chinese students, it remained proactive and vigilant.
He said there were a handful of students - both current and commencing - with a home location in Wuhan (the city at the centre of the outbreak) who had been personally contacted to see if they were already in Australia or en-route.
They have been asked to isolate themselves and seek medical advice if they are unwell, and have also been offered support to ensure their studies are not affected.
Australian National University was asked what the protocols were for students returning from China but a spokeswoman did not answer directly.
She said the university was implementing a communication and support plan to ensure all students and staff were provided with accurate information about the coronavirus and what to do should they have symptoms.
The Catholic Education Office has been contacted for comment