Four Sydney schools have closed after cases of COVID-19 and a CBD gym cluster grew to 14. Image by Bianca De Marchi/AAP PHOTOS

health

Four Sydney schools closed over COVID

2020-08-28 14:58:41

Four Sydney schools have closed because of COVID-19 infections, as NSW records 13 new cases of the virus and the number linked to the Sydney CBD gym cluster grows to 14.

The NSW Education department issued an alert on Friday afternoon for parents to collect their children from Double Bay Public School in Sydney’s east and Homebush Public School in the west saying it was closing the schools.

“NSW Education has been advised by NSW Health that a Double Bay Public School staff member has tested positive for COVID-19, as well as a staff member at the Cubbyhouse Childcare, an out of school hours centre located at Homebush Public School,” the statement said.

The alert came after two other schools were closed on Friday – Ryde Secondary College, in the city’s northwest and St Gertrude’s Catholic primary school in Smithfield in Sydney’s west.

All staff and students have been asked to self-isolate while contact tracing occurs and the schools are deep cleaned.

NSW recorded 13 new COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Thursday from more than 30,000 tests, with just one in a returned traveller in hotel quarantine.

The remaining 12 cases were acquired locally and six new cases were linked to the Sydney CBD cluster associated with the gym at the City Tattersalls Club, with that cluster now numbering 14.

NSW Health says anyone who attended the City Tattersalls gym between 8am and 2pm on August 19, 21, 23 or 24 should get tested and isolate at home for 14 days.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned residents to remain on high alert as spring nears and the weather warms, but argued her state had found the right regulatory balance between halting the spread of the virus and permitting social activity.

Ms Berejiklian has repeatedly reminded NSW residents over the past six months that the pandemic will not reach a conclusion until a vaccine is available.

“We want to see those double digits go back down to single digits as soon as we can. Our aspiration is to have zero community transmission, (but) as much as I’d like that, I can’t see a situation in NSW where we have zero community cases indefinitely,” the premier said.

An alert was also issued on Wednesday for those who attended a dance class on Monday evening at Virgin Gym in Zetland in Sydney’s east, and the Bond Street Fitness First gym in Sydney’s CBD which a COVID-positive person visited on August 21 and 22.

Elsewhere, a health alert has also been issued for those who attended Anytime Fitness gym in Marrickville on the evening of August 24. They must self-isolate for 14 days and get tested.

NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said almost half of Sydney-based COVID-19 patients did not seek testing until at least three days after their symptoms developed.

She encouraged all NSW residents to seek testing as soon as possible if they feel ill.

NSW Health says people who have attended the following venues that they are considered casual contacts and are advised to monitor for symptoms, and immediately isolate and get tested for COVID-19 should symptoms develop:

* The Matterhorn, Turramurra – August 22 from 6pm-8pm

* Parish of Holy Name, Wahroonga –  August 23 from 9.30am-10.15am

* Liquorland, Marrickville – August 23 from 5.15pm-5.30pm

* Eat Fuh, Marrickville – August 23 from 5.20pm-5.40pm

* Metro Petroleum – Hurlstone Park – August 24 from 10.20am-10.30am

Six people with COVID-19 are in intensive care and four are ventilated.