News Virus spread closes third Catholic school in Sydney

Virus spread closes third Catholic school in Sydney

Another school has been closed by COVID in Sydney. Photo: AAP/Dan Himbrechts
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Another independent Catholic school in Sydney has been closed after a student tested positive to COVID-19.

St Vincent’s College in Potts Point was 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. Its cluster has grown to 19 infections – and the source is yet to be traced.

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.

NSW recorded nine new cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Thursday including a third linked to Liverpool Hospital, and a second linked to Dooleys Lidcombe Catholic Club.

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

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

Of the new cases reported on Friday, one is linked to the Tangara school, three are returned travellers in hotel quarantine and there is one case with an unknown source.

On Thursday, NSW had 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 woman was the 53rd coronavirus death in NSW so far and came as the state reported 12 new virus cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Wednesday.

  • See a full list of NSW venues of concern here

As the clusters have grown, NSW authorities have urged people to wear masks in certain circumstances, but stopped short of making them mandatory. Premier Gladys Berejiklian reiterated that while masks were important in reducing the spread of COVID-19, they were a fourth line of defence.

She urged people in south-west and western Sydney, which are linked to several clusters, to get tested 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 on Friday.

She also noted health advice this week that 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 will be handed to the state government on Friday.

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.

Over the border, Queensland had two new COVID-19 cases on Friday, bringing its total number of active cases to eight.

One new infection is a returned traveller from Sydney who is in hotel quarantine. The other is a person on a cargo ship off the coast, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.