A Perth high school is closing its doors for two weeks and shifting to online learning following two more COVID-19 cases being reported amongst its secondary cohort, while another school has reported a teacher being infected.
- Iona College is the sixth Perth school to report a COVID outbreak this week
- 25 of WA’s new COVID cases are linked to existing outbreaks
- Less than 5,500 people got tested yesterday
It comes as WA authorities report 31 new cases in the state.
In a letter to parents, Corpus Christi College said two cases had been confirmed in its secondary school cohort, in addition to the two students who had tested positive earlier in the week.
“We believe that shifting to a remote learning model in this very challenging and stressful environment will east student stress and concern,” the letter said.
Meanwhile, a teacher from Iona Presentation College has also tested positive to COVID-19, forcing multiple students and other staff to go into isolation.
In an email to parents, the school said the teacher taught multiple classes while infectious on February 2 and 3, mostly on the school’s junior campus.
Close contacts should get tested as soon as possible and self-quarantine for 14 days.
The school said all students deemed close contacts would continue their education via remote learning, and “enhanced” cleaning was underway at the school.
Western Australia has recorded 31 new local COVID-19 infections, 25 of those linked to close contacts of previous cases.
WA Health said some of the new cases were infectious in the community, with contact tracers working to determine exposure sites.
A further 15 travel-related cases were reported overnight.
All new cases are now in quarantine.
A total of 5,460 people were tested at WA clinics yesterday.
Six Perth schools have COVID cases
Iona is the sixth school in the Perth metropolitan area to be affected by a COVID-19 case, following infections at Winterfold Primary, Corpus Christi College, Atwell College, Harrisdale High School, and SEDA College in Wembley.
It comes after schools in WA were told to abandon whole school assemble and limit other events where students and staff gathered in large groups.
The new advice sets out that in-school gatherings should be restricted to class groups or small groups within a year level.
Minister says ‘COVID numbers still low’
WA Minister for Emergency Services Stephen Dawson said at this stage, the COVID-19 situation in schools was not out of control.
“I mean, the numbers are very low in Western Australia, and certainly when you look at how Omicron took off in other states, we’re in a very different situation,” Mr Dawson said at a press conference prior to the latest COVID figures being released.
“I think last week the number of kids attending school averaged about 92 per cent, which was the same as the weeks leading up to before we had to deal with COVID in the first place.
“It does show that West Australian parents have a level of confidence in relation to sending their kids to school, but I would urge everyone to ensure that they are getting their kids vaccinated and also that adults are getting their booster shots as soon as they can .”
Mr Dawson also defended the Health Minister’s decision not to release preliminary Omicron modeling. He assured the public that decisions were being made based on the latest health advice.
“At this stage, we have had nine deaths in Western Australia as a result of COVID-19 and only one of those was because of the community spread,” he said.
“So we’ve relied on the Chief Health Officer to date. We’ll continue to do so, we’ll continue to make decisions in the best interests of our Western Australian citizens.
“As the Health Minister said, she’s got preliminary modeling… [and she’s] not in a position to release preliminary modeling at this stage, but I’m sure she will in the fullness of time.”