A study and prayer retreat may have triggered an outbreak of COVID-19 at Tangara School for Girls, Cherrybrook, in Sydney’s northwest.
As of 8pm Tuesday, 17 cases had been linked to the school, including 11 students and a staff member. The rest are believed to be close contacts.
“The original source of this cluster remains under investigation,” NSW Health said on Tuesday.
However, The Sydney Morning Herald reports several students who tested positive attended a retreat at a convention centre in Bargo.
The school said it did not arrange the retreat and that it was coordinated by the Eremeran study centre with the Catholic organisation Opus Dei.
The school’s secondary campus remains closed until August 24 while the junior campus was scheduled to reopen today, for students whose parents need to send their children to school.
“All students, staff and support staff of the secondary school must self-isolate for 14 days and get tested, regardless of symptoms,” the health department said.
It encouraged students at the primary school to monitor symptoms and get tested no matter how mild.
Parramatta Public School will also be closed today after a student tested positive to COVID-19.
“We wish to advise that Parramatta Public School will be non-operational for on-site learning tomorrow. All students will undertake at home learning tomorrow,” the school said.
It’s outside school hours care program has been suspended.
“All staff and students are asked to self-isolate while contact tracing occurs,” the school said.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian urged schools to cancel any extra-curricular activities.
“Extra-curricular activities, those excursions and overnight things which ordinarily you would do, are not acceptable during a pandemic,” she said.
NSW recorded 22 new coronavirus on Tuesday.
Sixteen were locally acquired and linked to known cases, four were returned travellers in hotel quarantine, one was from Victoria and one remains under investigation.