Tangara School for Girls and another Sydney school are closed until August 24 after COVID-19 cases. Image by Mick Tsikas/AAP PHOTOS

Health

COVID-19 diagnosis shuts Sydney school

2020-08-15 08:06:08

Another independent Catholic school in Sydney has been closed after a student tested positive to COVID-19.

St Vincent’s College in Potts Point will be closed on Friday for cleaning and to allow health authorities to contact trace after a student on Thursday tested positive to coronavirus.

It’s the third independent Catholic school to shut after being exposed to the virus with Our Lady of Mercy College in Parramatta closed until August 24 after three cases were linked to the high school. 

Tangara School for Girls in Cherrybrook will also remain shut until August 24, with its COVID-19 outbreak reaching 19 people as its source remains unconfirmed.

However, the outbreak has been linked to a nearby Opus Dei Catholic study centre, Eremeran, which is closed for cleaning after recently hosting five senior schoolgirls.

The state on Thursday recorded its first COVID-19 death since August 1 after a Sydney woman in her 80s linked to the Our Lady of Lebanon Church cluster died.

The elderly woman was the 53rd coronavirus death in NSW to date and came as the state recorded 12 new virus cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Wednesday.

NSW Health has also advised of a new public health alert for Liverpool Hospital and Dooleys Lidcombe Catholic Club, with a third hospital staff member confirmed with the virus and a second case confirmed at the club.

Contact tracing is underway and the people concerned are in isolation.

People who attended the Catholic club at specified hours between August 7 and 10 are considered close contacts, and must get tested and self-isolate for 14 days.

People who attended the hospital between August 6 and 9 are advised to monitor for symptoms and get tested if even mild symptoms emerge.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian reiterated that while masks are important in reducing the spread of COVID-19, they are a fourth line of defence.

She urged people in southwest and western Sydney, which are linked to several clusters, to come forward for testing and to maintain social distancing.

“We are concerned there was community transmission we haven’t picked up in those parts of Sydney and if we don’t, those strains or sources we haven’t identified could take off,” she told Seven’s Sunrise program on Friday.

She also noted health advice this week says people are more likely to get COVID-19 from someone they know.

Meanwhile, a NSW special commission of inquiry’s report into the ill-fated disembarkation of the Ruby Princess cruise ship is set to be handed to the state government.

The Ruby Princess, which docked at Sydney on March 19, has been linked to hundreds of cases and more than 20 coronavirus-related deaths across Australia.