Toorak Primary School closes after teacher tests positive to COVID-19
A slew of private schools across the state have closed their doors as the coronavirus crisis deepens, and one state school has today joined their ranks.
Toorak Primary School did not open today after a teacher at the school last night tested positive to COVID-19.
Education Department Deputy Secretary David Howes said it’s unclear if Toorak Primary School will reopen tomorrow.
“They asked us, as a cautionary measure, to close that school today to give them the opportunity to do what they call contact tracing and work out what the risks were to other students and staff at that school, and then they’ll inform us about whether it can reopen on Wednesday,” he told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell.
School camps and excursions have been cancelled on the advice of Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton, and the federal government last week announced a ban on mass gatherings of 500 people or more, but no advice has been issued ordering the closure of schools.
Mr Howes said there will not be widespread closures of the state’s schools until health authorities advise it.
“The advice that we should stop camps and excursions has come from the health authorities. The advice that our schools should stay open has come from our health authorities,” he said.
“Out of the 2254 odd schools, as you said we’ve got about a dozen closed at the moment, so the overwhelming majority of our schools are staying open.
“In a time of such uncertainty … we are going to rely on the advice of the people who are looking at the evidence on a daily basis.”
But the state government is ready to close schools if advice changes.
“It’s not a matter of hope so much as following the direction and the advice of our chief health officer,” Mr Howes said.
“If that means we keep schools open until Easter then that would be great. If that means we’re advised to close a school, or a network of schools, or even an area of schools tomorrow or Thursday or Friday then we stand ready and our schools stand ready to do that and to follow that advice.”
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