School’s back but second case sends more kids into isolation

• Heidi Coakley was philosophical about Winterfold primary’s Covid case, saying it was going to happen some time soon. It didn’t stop her bringing Hazel along for drop-offs.

CLASSES were smaller than usual, but parents seemed pretty relaxed as Winterfold Primary School reopened on Thursday morning following its Covid scare.

The school was forced to close on Wednesday after a year 3/4 teacher who had attended an all-staff workshop before the weekend tested positive to the Omicron strain. 

The first WA school to be disrupted by the state’s growing Covid outbreak, 55 staff, 27 students and their families were forced into 14 days of isolation. Late on Wednesday education minister Sue Ellery told ABC Radio a second teacher had returned a positive test and a second group of year 4s were now in isolation.

“The particular circumstances here are that the whole of teaching staff attended the professional development day on Friday,” Ms Ellery said.

“That doesn’t happen every day.

“We needed to replace a significant number of the staff and it’s taken us one day to do that.”

On Thursday there was definitely less carpark chitchat than usual after drop-offs, but parents like Heidi Coakley were philosophical about the situation.

“It’s not what you really wanted,” Ms Coakley said of recording the first school cases in WA, “but they did say they were going to keep the schools open.”

Ms Coakley said Winterfold and the education department had handled the situation well, contacting parents via text and email to keep them well informed.

Principal Steve Barry told parents the school closure was to allow for testing of affected staff and students.

He said only those in the affected room were required to quarantine unless advised otherwise by WA Health.

“Plese note that the Omicron strain can present with less typical symptoms such as diarrhoea, particularly in children,” Mr Barry wrote.

It came as a number  of exposure sites in the southern suburbs were listed by WA Health.

• The Telethon Community Cinemas at Murdoch University on Sunday from 5.45-10.30pm;

• Coogee Beach Cafe on Sunday from 9.30-10.30am;

• Il Cibo cafe in Fremantle on Sunday from 8.30-9.30am;

• Cockburn Arc basketball courts on Sunday from 10am-12.30pm;

• Jetts Gym Applecross on Wednesday (9-10am), Thursday (5-6am) and Friday 5-6am); and,

• Jamaica Blue at Stockland Bull Creek shops on Thursday from 3-4pm.

by STEVE GRANT

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