Schools closed, thousands in isolation as health authorities probe three mystery cases

Schools closed, thousands in isolation as health authorities probe three mystery cases

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A coronavirus testing site is being set up at a school in Melbourne’s west amid fears a teacher may have taught students for three days while infectious.

Nearly 2500 students and teachers at Al-Taqwa College in Truganina are now in isolation after the female teacher tested positive on Wednesday.

A testing site is being set up at Al-Taqwa College in Truginina after a teacher tested positive.Credit:Wayne Taylor

Two more schools with links to Al-Taqwa College have also closed several campuses and students will continue their classes from home.

Ilim College has closed three campuses in Melbourne’s north while the Australian International Academy has closed two campuses in Coburg and Caroline Springs.

The new positive case was one of six cases recorded on Thursday.

In the daily tweet, the health department said three cases were linked to the current outbreaks and were in quarantine while infectious. However, “investigations are continuing into three cases”, including the teacher.

There were 27,27 tests processed while 17,229 doses of vaccine were administered across the state.

Victorian COVID-19 response commander Jeroen Weimar said the Hobsons Bay woman, who is in her 20s, may have been infectious while at the school on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday last week. All staff and students had been asked to isolate for 14 days.

The woman also visited a Coles in Yarraville last Thursday. The supermarket has now been declared a tier-2 exposure site, meaning anyone who visited it during the specified timeframe needs to isolate until they test negative for COVID-19.

A message sent out by Australian International Academy executive principal Gafiah Dickinson and campus head Michelle Shears told parents and guardians that all their campuses would be closed as a precautionary measure after the school participated in a sporting competition with another unnamed school.

“We are sorry to inform you that we are temporarily closing ALL AIA Campuses due to the recent COVID-19 CONFIRMED infections announced earlier this evening,” the message said.

“This is a precautionary measure as our students engaged in sporting activities with other schools.”

Late on Wednesday evening, Ilim College said it would close its three campuses from Thursday and await advice from Victoria’s health department.

“We must reiterate that Ilim College has not had any positive COVID results from this outbreak,” the school said in a Facebook post.

“The closure of our campuses is a precautionary measure for all our students, employees, families, and community.”

With Cassandra Morgan and Paul Sakkal

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