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Virus cluster fears at elite Sydney school

1 month ago 20

An elite Catholic school has quietly shut its doors to the majority of its students for a week amid fears of a cluster from an infected pupil who is a relative of one of the Potts Point COVID-19 victims.

St Vincent’s College at Potts Point in Sydney’s inner east was reported to have closed down on Friday, August 14, for a deep clean and to allow health authorities to contact trace after a student on Thursday tested positive to coronavirus.

But news.com.au can reveal the school has largely shut down for at least a week to Year 7 to Year 11 students after one schoolgirl tested positive.

The student’s sibling who is also a student at the school is now being tested. The girls are relatives of a man who unwittingly infected a staff member at the Apollo restaurant, Potts Point and spread the virus to the Cruising Yacht Club at Rushcutters Bay.

The mother of the two school students is in hospital with coronavirus.

St Vincent’s principal Anne Fry told news.com.au it was “offering a remote platform for Years 7 to 11”.

Ms Fry said all HSC Year 12 students were on site, plus boarders. Boarders represent about 60 students among the school’s total student population of just under 700.

Despite fears in the school’s community that it could remain closed to the majority of students for a second week if the sibling of the schoolgirl also tests positive, Ms Fry said she was “confident” it would open.

“I believe it would be most appropriate that information be first shared directly with the college staff and families,” she said.

It is understood that the infected schoolgirl’s first test came back negative and she was then diagnosed as having coronavirus in a second test.

News.com.au has been told that the infected girl has been bullied online by other students in her year.

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The man, who is related to the girls, and a woman dined at the Thai Rock restaurant in Potts Point on July 17, then dined at The Apollo restaurant five days later, then the Cruising Yacht Club Australia on a subsequent night.

A 33-year-old Apollo waitress who served the pair for 90 minutes became infected with COVID-19.

The Potts Point cluster saw the Thai Rock cafe outbreak spread to the Fitness First gym in Kings Cross, a two-minute walk from the restaurant, after a confirmed COVID-19 case attended a group workout session.

Two weeks ago, NSW Health reported that 32 cases had been associated with the Potts Point cluster, including 26 cases linked to the Apollo Restaurant cluster and six cases linked with the Thai Rock Restaurant.

Its sister restaurant, the Thai Rock at Wetherill Park, has been linked to more than 100 coronavirus cases.

That cluster was linked to The Crossroads Hotel cluster, which has been associated with more than 50 cases and which are believed to have originated with an infected person from Victoria.

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