Infected woman delayed coronavirus test

A COVID-infected cleaner went to work at a private school for three days before calling in sick, according to the school principal.

Parklands Christian College Principal Gary Cully said that other staff members at the private school are now in isolation as well, due to concerns they had direct contact with the school cleaner.

"The staff member was on site last week and then rang in sick and then that's when the trace program started," Mr Cully said.

"I think they were onsite three days.

"As far as I'm aware they were not symptomatic while they were onsite and then called in sick the following day and then the next week were tested."

It's understood the cleaner went to work on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, before seeing a doctor on Saturday, who told her to get immediately tested.

She did not get tested until Monday.

It's believed she also went out in the community on Tuesday when she should have been in quarantine awaiting the result of the test.

Mr Cully confirmed that alongside the infected staff member, "a number of other staff members have also been placed in isolation as a precautionary measure due to their direct contact with the infected person".

"Parklands Christian College has taken extra safety measures during this challenging season to keep our staff and students safe," he said.

"As soon as we found out that the staff member tested positive, we alerted Parklands families and staff, and have closed our doors for professional cleaning and disinfecting which is happening today."

He said they believed that the infected worker had "limited contact" with students and the wider college community.

"Our children and our staff are like family and we are doing everything possible to keep them safe now and in the future and that includes fully cooperating with the Metro South Public Health Unit.

"Parklands has and will continue to follow all government directions and advice to ensure the safety of our students, our staff and our parklands community and will provide updates as they become available."

Mr Cully said he hoped the school would be able to open again next week but would wait for public health advice.

 

EARLIER: A staff member at a Queensland private school has tested positive to coronavirus.

Queensland Health confirmed an employee at Park Ridge's Parklands Christian College in Logan returned a positive test Tuesday afternoon.

The school will be closed on Wednesday to allow cleaning and contact tracing.

The female staffer is a cleaner at the school.

It's understood she and another woman had been to Melbourne and Sydney and had lied about their travel.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young claimed the two women had returned from Melbourne on July 21 via Sydney and have since tested positive.

Dr Young said shopping centres and schools will now be closed for 48 hours while deep cleans are undertaken.

"We need to act really, really fast," she said.

She said anyone who lives in the Logan and Acacia Ridge areas who have symptoms should get tested.

 

Health Minister Steven Miles claimed they had both recently travelled together, including returning to Brisbane from Melbourne on July 21 via Sydney.

"They travelled on flights VA863 and VA977," Mr Miles said.

"The Queensland Health contact tracers are identifying close contacts from those flights."

 

The other woman is being tested.

"Queensland Health is working to determine where the virus may have been acquired, including working with the woman to gather necessary information about places she may have visited whilst infectious," a spokesperson told The Courier Mail.

"Vigilance is key to keeping community transmission out of Queensland."

"These young women have gone about their business within the communities that they live in," Mr Miles said.

"So there will be a large amount of contact tracing to be done, largely within the Logan and Springfield areas - including shopping malls, restaurants and a church.

"Our contact tracers are doing that work right now.

"There are also a number of close contacts in both of their households."

 

The school has 700 students and about 46 teaching staff and 65 non-teaching staff according to the latest data from 2019 on the My School website.

"The woman, who is under isolation, tested positive late yesterday after returning from interstate last week," A Queensland Health spokesperson said in a statement.

"The school will temporarily close until further notification to allow for cleaning and work will commence on contact tracing."

It is understood a testing clinic will be established at the Baskerville Sports Centre, at the school, from today.

 

In a letter to school personnel, obtained by The Courier-Mail¸ Queensland Health urged anyone feeling unwell to 'isolate immediately and avoid contact with others'.

"Queensland Health is currently working closely with the College to assess the situation," the letter said.

"Public Health advice will be provided to people who are identified as close contacts."

The new case brings the Queensland COVID-19 total to 1077, with six active cases.

 

Originally published as Private school staff member 'lied' about trip south



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