Students in Queensland will stop going to school from next week amid coronavirus fears
- Queensland schools will go ‘student-free’ from next week as pandemic worsens
- Schools will remain open for children of essential workers, like nurses
- The move comes as the state closed its borders amid the coronavirus crisis
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
Queensland schools will go ‘student-free’ from next week amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk issued the student-free directive on Thursday.
Schools will remain open for children of essential workers.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk issued the student-free directive on Thursday
‘I know the community has had a lot of mixed reactions and we have listened,’ Ms Palaszczuk said.
‘I think it’s very important that we do cater for our schools across the state to make sure that our workforce, that their students are able to go to school.’
Queensland Education Minister Grace Grace said essential workers included healthcare workers like nurses and doctors as well as supermarket staff.
‘This is unprecedented history, and unprecedented times.
‘That is why the student-free days next week will enable our teachers to prepare for learning at home and to be able to deliver the curriculum requirements of students when we work out exactly what is going to happen into the future.’
The move comes as the state closes its borders to slow the spread of coronavirus.
Australia currently has 2,675 confirmed cases and 11 people have died after contracting the deadly illness.
CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 2,675
New South Wales: 1,219
Western Australia: 205
South Australia: 197
Australian Capital Territory: 44
Northern Territory: 5
TOTAL CASES: 2,675
Queensland joined the Northern Territory, Western Australia, Tasmania and South Australia at midnight on Wednesday by closing its borders.
New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT still have open borders.
Australia recorded a spike in cases on Wednesday night, with 190 more in New South Wales alone.
Victoria’s total rose to 520 diagnosed cases of the respiratory infection, an increase of 54 from Wednesday.
A 68-year-old Queensland man died on Wednesday afternoon after catching the virus on board a cruise ship that docked in Sydney last week.
Queensland Health said the man had a ‘serious underlying medical condition before contracting the virus.’
Sydney’s eastern suburbs has the highest number of coronavirus cases in the state after a surge overnight, bringing the New South Wales total to 1,219.
Southeast Sydney has between 161-320 cases of COVID-19, while the north closely follows with between 81 and 160.
The city’s west and southwest, and the Hunter New England region, both have between 41 to 80 confirmed cases each.
Of the state’s cases, seven people have died and 16 are currently in intensive care.
It comes after several backpackers based in Bondi, in Sydney’s east, tested positive to COVID-19 between Friday and Sunday.
More to come