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COVID-19 in WA: Perth primary school to close after COVID case

A primary school in Perth’s southern suburbs will be shut down on Wednesday after an infected teacher taught a classroom of Year 3 and 4 students on the first day of school.

Nearly 340 students and more than a dozen teachers at Winterfold Primary in Beaconsfield will have to stay home.

The teacher and students he taught must now go into two weeks of isolation.

Principal Steve Berry wrote to parents on Tuesday advising them of the infection — the first of the Omicron outbreak at a WA school.

“(The infected person) attended Room 11, our Year 3/4 class during their infectious period on Monday, 31 January 2022,” Mr Berry wrote.

“We are working closely with WA Health to identify and contact staff and families of the children who were in close contact with the case.

“If your child was in Room 11, our Year 3/4 class on Monday, 31 January, 2022 please get your child tested at a COVID-19 clinic immediately, quarantine at home and follow the advice provided by WA Health.

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“Winterfold Primary School will close tomorrow (Wednesday, 2 February 2022) and remain closed until further information is provided by The Department of Education.

“This will allow for testing of affected staff and students.”

Camera IconWinterfold Primary School in Beaconsfield Credit: Unknown/Supplied

Mr Berry said students who were not in Room 11 were not required to be quarantined “unless specifically advised to do so by WA Health”.

“Please note that the Omicron strain can present with less typical symptoms such as diarrhoea, particularly in children,” Mr Berry said.

An Education Department spokeswoman confirmed the case, the first at a school in the current Omicron outbreak.

“The Department of Education has contacted Winterfold Primary School families and staff this afternoon to notify them of a confirmed COVID-9 case at the school,” she said.

The infection comes after 13 more cases were identified on Tuesday, five of which are mystery cases with no established links to existing clusters.

Three northern suburbs schools were declared exposure sites and temporarily closed last June after they were visited by an infected person, though in that case the person carrying the virus was not a teacher.

Under WA’s existing protocols, the teacher will be required to spend 14 days in isolation, along with any child with whom they shared a classroom.

Education Minister Sue Ellery said last week that Chief Health Officer Andy Robertson would decide on a case-by-case basis whether schools impacted by COVID would be required to close.

Earlier on Tuesday, St John of God Midland Hospital confirmed “an employee” had also contracted COVID-19.

“All close contacts are being provided with the relevant advice for testing,” a SJOG Midland spokeswoman said.

“The hospital is well prepared for this situation and has processes in place to manage and protect patients, visitors and employees.”

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