Parents have been asked to collect their children from a Sydney high school after a Year 7 student tested positive to the coronavirus.
Just a day after all NSW students returned to classrooms, on Tuesday Waverley College became the first school with a confirmed case since COVID-19 restrictions eased in NSW.
The Catholic boys’ school has a junior and senior campus in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. The senior campus, which houses years seven to 12, has been closed temporarily while the junior campus, which caters for years five and six, is not affected.
A Waverley College spokeswoman confirmed on Tuesday that the school had closed and implemented its evacuation plan within 90 minutes of learning about the case.
“We’ve been in touch with those students and staff members in close contact with the student and are waiting further directions from NSW Health,” deputy principal Patrick Brennan said.
“Waverley College has been preparing for COVID-19 for months and we have the procedures in place to deliver schooling online in the event of an extended closure.”
A note sent to parents on Tuesday morning asked that, as a precaution, all children be collected from the school “immediately”.
“A member of the senior campus has tested positive for COVID-19 and is in isolation,” the note read.
“Health NSW will conduct contact tracing and we undertake a deep clean of the campus.
“We will be in contact with those who have had close contact and will need to isolate,” the ABC reported.
On Monday, about 800,000 NSW public school students returned to classrooms full-time two months after COVID-19 restrictions forced them to study remotely.
Some NSW independent and Catholic schools also returned full-time. Others are working towards a June 1 return.
Hundreds of security and marshalling officers were out in force across Sydney’s vast public transport network to monitor social distancing and prevent overcrowding.
On Monday, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she was “very happy” people weren’t rushing onto public transport as they eased back into more “normal” activities.
“The public transport system to date doesn’t seem to have buckled under pressure,” she said.
Many parents chose to drop children at school gates, or they walked.
NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said on Tuesday the absentee rate at NSW schools on Monday was 14 per cent – only marginally higher than the average 10 per cent rate.
“It’s really a show of confidence by our parents and families in our education system,” she said.
Early testing crucial
People with even the mildest of symptoms are been urged to get tested for COVID-19 in an attempt to rapidly identify community transmission.
Ms Berejiklian said early testing remained crucial as people began to move around the state more freely and the winter months approached.
Almost 423,000 people have been tested for the virus across the state. The death roll remains at 50.
Two new cases were confirmed in NSW on Tuesday. Both are in returned overseas travellers.
There are 7118 confirmed cases of the coronavirus across the nation, with 3090 cases in NSW, 1605 in Victoria, 107 in the ACT, 1056 in Queensland, 439 in South Australia, 30 in the NT, 564 in Western Australia and 226 in Tasmania.
In Victoria, five new cases were confirmed overnight. Three were detected in returned travellers in mandatory hotel quarantine, one case was picked up in routine testing and a fifth is a resident at the HammondCare aged-care home in Caulfield, in Melbourne’s inner south-east.