News Coronavirus COVID scare forces entire school campus into isolation

COVID scare forces entire school campus into isolation

gold coast school covid
The Australian International Islamic College's Carrara campus was closed after details of the family road trip to Victoria emerged. Photo: Google Maps
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Dozens of children from a Gold Coast school face a fortnight in quarantine because a family suspected of having COVID has refused tests.

The family of five, including three children under 10, have been ordered into hotel quarantine after reportedly returning to Queensland from Melbourne without going into quarantine.

Queensland Police say the family returned to their Gold Coast home three days ago. It is believed they came home via inland roads, avoiding border checkpoints.

Two of the children returned to school at the Australian International Islamic College at Carrara.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told Queensland parliament on Thursday the apparent quarantine breach emerged only when the youngsters “boasted” to classmates about a recent unsanctioned trip to the hotspot of Melbourne.

“News from interstate is increasingly grim,” she said.

“For five days this week, NSW has reported more than 1000 new cases a day.”

Later chief health officer Jeannette Young said police alerted the school, and the whole family had been taken into hotel quarantine.

“I am sure that they are concerned and they are worried and we’re trying to work through that with them,” she said.

Two of the children have respiratory symptoms. But the family is not co-operating with contact tracers or health authorities and have so far refused to be tested for the coronavirus.

They are being treated as if they do have the virus.

“Therefore I have had to ask that all children who attend that the same school need to go into quarantine until we are able to get test results from these two children,” Dr Young said.

“If we can’t get those two children tested then that school will be in quarantine for 14 days.”

The ABC reported late on Thursday afternoon that the family had agreed to COVID tests.

Earlier in the day, the school confirmed the closure of its Carrara campus in a letter to parents. It said the closure was precautionary and there had been no positive virus test on school grounds.

There are also concerns in Queensland about a truck driver, who lives at Windaroo in Brisbane’s south, returned a positive result on Wednesday.

The 46-year-old man, who is currently in NSW, is thought to have been infectious in the community in Logan and the northern Gold Coast between August 28 and September 1.

  • See all Queensland exposure sites here

Dr Young said the man’s household contacts were being tested. Authorities were contacting him to work out where else he had been in the past five days.

She said the potential length of his time in the community while infectious was “concerning”.

The Windaroo driver is in addition to another truckie who tested positive in NSW after being infectious while in Queensland last Thursday.

He visited service stations at Archerfield in southern Brisbane, Goondawindi and Bundamba, near Ipswich, on August 26.

He tested positive when he returned to NSW.

The case comes with Queensland’s border shut to NSW for all but essential workers who have had at least one vaccine.

-with AAP