News, Culture & Society

Covid-19 Australia: South Coogee Public School, Sydney in lockdown after virus outbreak

Students and staff at a primary school in Sydney’s eastern suburbs have been plunged into isolation after four pupils tested positive to coronavirus.

All students at South Coogee Public School have been deemed close contacts after two additional students tested positive to Covid-19 on Sunday. 

The school had previously sent a letter to parents to tell them that all staff and pupils needed to isolate under further notice, after two pupils tested positive on Friday. 

The students who tested positive on Sunday are close contacts of the two previously reported cases at the school, bringing the total number of positive tests to four. 

South Coogee Public School (pictured) in Sydney’s east has been plunged into lockdown as two people connected to the school tested positive for Covid on Friday

NSW Health have updated their advice following the additional cases and because of a number of interactions between students in different years. 

About 550 students at South Coogee Public School have been asked to self-isolate for 14 days regardless of a negative test result.  

The primary school has been closed from Saturday to undergo deep cleaning, with contact tracers interviewing those who have been affected. 

The school said they would work closely with NSW Health to ensure safety precautions are swiftly implemented. 

‘Our priority is the safety and wellbeing of our staff and students at all times, ‘ a spokesperson for NSW Department of Education told 7NEWS.

‘We will continue to work closely with NSW Health to ensure the health and safety of our school community is maintained.’ 

This latest outbreak is considered to be the first transmission of coronavirus between students in a school. 

A health worker (pictured) registers people for Covid tests at a drive-through testing centre at nearby Bondi in Sydney's eastern suburbs on Friday

A health worker (pictured) registers people for Covid tests at a drive-through testing centre at nearby Bondi in Sydney’s eastern suburbs on Friday 

The South Coogee cluster comes as Emanuel School in Randwick sent an email to parents on Sunday evening to notify them a student had tested positive. 

‘All secondary staff and students are asked to self-isolate until you receive further advice’, the email read.

‘All primary staff and students should monitor for symptoms and if symptoms develop, be tested and self-isolate until a negative test is received.’

The school will be non-operational from Monday 28 of June to allow for deep cleaning and contact tracing to take place. 

Mount Sinai College, a primary and pre-school in Maroubra, also sent out a message over the weekend, after a member ‘of the school community’ had tested positive. 

Parents were informed through an email the school would be non-operational from Monday 

A seven-day lockdown – which applies from 11.59pm on Friday – has been announced as the city deals with a Covid-19 outbreak which emerged in the eastern suburbs in mid-June. 

Those who live or work in the Woollahra, Waverley, Randwick and City of Sydney council areas are required to stay-at-home after the state recorded another 22 new local cases of Covid on Friday. 

NSW residents have been warned case numbers are expected to rise over the next week as the highly contagious Delta variant spreads in the community. 

Premier Gladys Berejiklian expects tests of people currently in isolation will return positive results to the virus over the next few days. 

Coogee Beach (pictured) is one of Sydney's most popular coastal spots catering to hundreds of visitors a day

Coogee Beach (pictured) is one of Sydney’s most popular coastal spots catering to hundreds of visitors a day 

Cars line up at St Vincent's drive-through Covid testing facility at nearby Bondi Beach (pictured) on Friday as the city deals with an outbreak in the eastern suburbs

Cars line up at St Vincent’s drive-through Covid testing facility at nearby Bondi Beach (pictured) on Friday as the city deals with an outbreak in the eastern suburbs

‘We expect household contacts to develop the virus,’ Ms Berejiklian said on Friday.

‘Our aim is to make sure that we get on top of any potential spread and that we also get on top of any chains of transmission’.

Eleven cases were detected in the 24 hours to 8pm on Thursday night, six of which were already reported. There were 17 further infections after 8pm which will be recorded in Saturday’s tally.

There are now 65 cases linked to the Bondi cluster that erupted in the city’s east last week. 

The premier said the stay-at-home orders will come into force from midnight. People who live or work in Woollahra, Waverley, Randwick and the City of Sydney council areas will not be able to leave home for a week except for essential purposes.

These include work or education, shopping, providing care or outside exercise.

Those who have been identified as confirmed cases or close contacts of confirmed cases and are in self-isolation should not leave their house for even these reasons. 

The lockdown applies to residents who live or have worked part-time or full-time in the hotspot suburbs (pictured) in the past two weeks

The lockdown applies to residents who live or have worked part-time or full-time in the hotspot suburbs (pictured) in the past two weeks 

UPDATED RESTRICTIONS ACROSS GREATER SYDNEY 

FOR THOSE WHO LIVE OR WORK IN THE CITY OF SYDNEY, RANDWICK, WAVERLEY OR WOOLLAHRA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS:

– Stay at home unless absolutely necessary.

– Four reasons to leave home: If you can’t work from home or be educated at home, to exercise outside in groups of less than 10, if you must provide care to a relative, or to buy essential goods or services.

– Stay-at-home order will remain in place until at least next Friday.

– Gyms and non-essential shops should not remain open 

FOR THOSE WHO LIVE OR WORK IN THE CITY OF SYDNEY, RANDWICK, WAVERLEY OR WOOLLAHRA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS, AS WELL AS INNER WEST, CANADA BAY AND BAYSIDE:

– Do not travel outside metropolitan Sydney unless essential.

FOR ALL OTHER GREATER SYDNEY, CENTRAL COAST, BLUE MOUNTAINS, WOLLONGONG AND SHELLHARBOUR RESIDENTS:

– One person per four square metre rule applies indoors and outdoors, including at weddings and funerals.

– Masks compulsory in all indoor non-residential settings, including workplaces, at organised outdoor events, and on public transport.

– Visitors to households limited to five, including children.

– Dancing banned at indoor hospitality venues or nightclubs.

– Dancing allowed at weddings for the bridal party, which must be no more than 20 people.

– Singing by audiences at indoor shows or by congregants at indoor places of worship banned.

– Dance and gym classes limited to 20, masks required.

– Outdoor seated events limited to 50 per cent seated capacity.

– Public transport capacity limits, and green dots on seats, are back.

– Drinking while standing at indoor venues banned.

– Outdoor events restricted to 50 per cent capacity.  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk