Tuesday, 10 March 2020: COVID-19 or coronavirus is continuing to disrupt life all over the world. It is causing school closures and is particularly upsetting to see many educational institutions being told to close. A school in Sydney last week had to temporarily close. Also, the state government has cancelled all overseas educational trips planned. Also in Melbourne’s West, Suzanne Cory cancelled its proposed trip to France which was an exchange trip with a sister school in France. The principal informed parents the decision had been taken after the department advisory was received allaying many parents’ fears and anxiety.
This morning, school closures were being discussed over the airwaves in Melbourne. And according to the minister for Education, temporary school closures are likely to become the norm across Australia as authorities try to take steps to arrest the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
Three schools in NSW and Victoria were shut on Tuesday after students tested positive to COVID-19.
“School closures, I think, will become the norm as we go ahead. But we are doing everything we can to keep our children safe,” federal Education Minister Dan Tehan told Nine’s Today program.
When the Minister was asked closure for a day or two was enough while people with or suspected of having the virus are being told to self-isolate for two weeks, the minister responded:
“The schools have been closed for a day so they can be thoroughly cleaned… That is the best medical advice that we’re being given at the moment. Now, if that changes and it says that schools need to close for longer, then schools will close for longer.”
The three schools closed on Tuesday are:
- Carey Baptist Grammar School, Kew in Victoria;
- St Patrick’s Marist College in Dundas in NSW; and
- Willoughby Girls High School in Willoughby NSW.
Two year 10 students from St Patrick’s Marist College Dundas and a year 7 girl from Willoughby Girls High School, Willoughby were on Monday confirmed to have COVID-19.
Earlier, fathers of the two St Patrick’s students and mother of the Willoughby girl had tested positive to COVID-19.
Carey Baptist Grammar School in Kew has been shut after a teacher developed symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
Last week on Friday, Epping Boys High in Sydney had been closed after a year 11 boy tested positive. It reopened on Monday.
Also read: Coronavirus in Australia
In Australia, more than 80 people have been confirmed carrying the COVID-19 virus with more than half of those being in New South Wales. As to fatalities from the virus, three elderly Australians have died so far in Australia.
To the time of writing this piece (morning of March 10, 2020), there were more than 110,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus reported with more than 3817 deaths in 105 countries.