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CHO Brett Sutton addresses recent COVID-19 outbreaks in Victorian schools

Victoria’s chief health officer has assured parents sending their kids to school is safe, despite three separate COVID-19 outbreaks in recent days.

Parents and staff at Strathmore Primary School were sent a message on Tuesday morning informing them the school will be closed for at least 24 hours while the health department undertakes a risk assessment.

Close contacts of the infected Grade 5 student will be notified over the next 24 hours. In the mean time, all students and staff must remain at home.

It comes after two schools, one in Pakenham and one in Broadmeadows, closed their doors when two students at each school returned positive COVID-19 tests.

But Professor Brett Sutton said it was no cause for alarm.

“What’s reassuring for me, and I think for everyone and it’s been the global picture is that when we look at the classroom contacts of the kids … they don’t pick up illness,” he said.

“They’re very unlikely to pick it up from the kids in the classroom.

“It’s not impossible, clearly kids can become infected, but they seem to pick it up in settings where they’ve got prolonged close contact, such as from their families.”

In positive news, Professor Sutton said it now appeared unlikely there’d be any major outbreak as a result of the Black Lives Matter protest in the CBD earlier this month.

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