Another Sydney Catholic school closed over COVID-19 as NSW records nine new cases

Another Sydney Catholic school closed over COVID-19 as NSW records nine new cases
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Another independent Catholic school in Sydney has been closed after a student tested positive to COVID-19 with nine new cases recorded across the state.

St Vincent’s College in Potts Point will be closed on Friday for cleaning and to allow health authorities to contact trace after a student on Thursday tested positive.

It’s the third independent Catholic school to shut after being exposed, with Our Lady of Mercy College in Parramatta closed until 24 August after three cases were linked to the high school.

Tangara School for Girls in Cherrybrook will also remain shut until 24 August, with its outbreak reaching 21 people as its source remains unconfirmed.

The outbreak has been linked to a nearby Opus Dei Catholic study centre, Eremeran, which is closed for cleaning after recently hosting five senior schoolgirls.

NSW Police are investigating to see if the school breached any current public health orders, a spokeswoman told AAP on Friday.

NSW recorded nine new cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Thursday including a third linked to Liverpool Hospital, and a second linked to Dooleys Lidcombe Catholic Club.

People who attended the Catholic club at specified hours between the 7th and 10th of August are considered close contacts, and must get tested and self-isolate for 14 days.

Anyone who attended the hospital between the 6th and 9th of August is advised to monitor for symptoms and get tested if even mild symptoms emerge.

Of the new cases reported on Friday, one is linked to the Tangara school, three are returned travellers in hotel quarantine and there is one case with an unknown source.

The state on Thursday recorded its first death since 1 August after a Sydney woman in her 80s was linked to the Our Lady of Lebanon Church cluster.

The elderly woman was the 53rd death in NSW to date.

Meanwhile, NSW Labor leader Jodi McKay on Friday increased the pressure on the Berejiklian government to mandate masks on public transport.

“People are calling for this. The public want it, commuters want it,” she told reporters in Sydney on Friday.

“This should have been a health order from the very beginning. The premier says we will have a no-regrets policy, well let’s actually have that in real terms.”

But Premier Gladys Berejiklian earlier on Friday reiterated that while masks are important in reducing the spread of COVID-19, they are a fourth line of defence.

She urged people in southwest and western Sydney, which are linked to several clusters, to come forward for testing and to maintain social distancing.

“We are concerned there was community transmission we haven’t picked up in those parts of Sydney and if we don’t, those strains or sources we haven’t identified could take off,” she told Seven’s Sunrise program.

Meanwhile, a NSW special commission of inquiry’s report into the ill-fated disembarkation of the Ruby Princess cruise ship is set to be handed to the state government.

The Ruby Princess, which docked at Sydney on 19 March, has been linked to hundreds of cases and more than 20 coronavirus-related deaths across Australia.



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