Virus cases among Melbourne schools soar

| 30.06,20. 02:50 PM |


Virus cases among Melbourne schools soar

The Camberwell Grammar School gates. (The Age)

The number of coronavirus cases in Melbourne schools continues to surge, with more staff and students returning positive results today.

Two staff members at Camberwell Grammar School in Melbourne's inner-east have been diagnosed with the virus, following voluntary on-campus testing undertaken last Thursday by some 130 staff.

It comes as Victoria has recorded another 64 cases of coronavirus, down from yesterday's 75 new infections. The Victorian government is set to address the new figures in a press conference this afternoon.

In a letter to families, Head of Senior School Rob French said neither staff member was linked to a young man who tested positive last week.

"Fortunately, neither staff member is currently seriously ill and both were asymptomatic at the time of testing," he said.

"I am sorry to have to bring you this news; however, as the Headmaster said last week, this virus respects no boundaries.

"Victoria has seen a concerning growth in confirmed cases in recent days and unfortunately our community has not been spared.

"The School has clear protocols in place to minimise the spread of the virus, and in fact the Department has praised us for the measures that we have taken thus far.

"We will need to remain vigilant to beat this disease."

The positive virus cases have forced all non-essential activities on-site over the school holiday period to be cancelled, including planned sport training sessions, practice matches and the availability of gym and court use.

The school will be thoroughly deep cleaned.

Contact tracing is also underway by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).  

Mr French said the Term 3 commencement date of Tuesday, July 14 had not been impacted at this stage.

A student has also tested positive to coronavirus in Melbourne's west.

Parkwood Green Primary School in Hillside stated on its website it would close from today for three days over the school holidays.

Principal David Allibon said in a statement DHHS would undertake a full risk assessment, with deep cleaning also underway.

"I understand this news will be concerning for many of you," he said.

"I want to assure you we are strictly following the public health advice of DHHS to ensure the safety of all staff and students.

"We wish the student a speedy recovery and look forward to welcoming them back to school next term once they have recovered."

Close contacts of the infected student would be notified by DHHS.

The infections follow a host of other positive results among Melbourne schools, including: Al-Taqwa College in Truganina, Queen of Peace Parish Primary School in Altona Meadows, Aitken Hill Primary in Craigieburn, Fitzroy High School and Port Phillip Specialist School.

Al-Taqwa College Principal Omar Hallak said a Year 6 teacher was diagnosed with coronavirus last Saturday.

"The advice from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is that there is a possibility that the staff member contracted the virus from a community member," Mr Hallak said.

A positive case has also been detected at Harcourts Roxburgh Park. While a staff member at Quality Pharmacy in Epping has also tested positive to COVID-19, forcing it to shut down until further notice.

A childcare centre in Abbotsford also has a positive virus case, as well as a health care worker at the Melbourne clinic in Richmond and a Red Cross worker.

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