Primary school closes for Covid-19

Thomas Mitchell Primary School closed after a staff member tested positive for Covid-19.

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

A third school in the region has temporarily closed due to a Covid-19 infection with Greater Dandenong’s active cases rising to 99.

On 27 July, Thomas Mitchell Primary School in Endeavour Hills closed for at least 72 hours after a staff member tested positive for coronavirus.

No students or staff can attend the school grounds. Staff will work from home as students continue remote learning, principal John Hurley stated in a letter to the school community.

Dandenong High School, Gleneagles Secondary College and Fountain Gate Secondary College are also closed due to Covid-19 links.

Meanwhile a cleaner at Endeavour Hills Shopping Centre tested positive – the fourth case of Covid-19 linked to the centre.

“The cleaner’s usual shift is between 4am and 7am, focusing on the external component of the Shopping Centre only, primarily being the carpark,” centre management stated.

“As the safety of our community is our main priority, any area that the individual may have been exposed to is undergoing a deep clean and is not accessible to the general public.”

Since 13 July, two Kmart workers and a staff member at UR Next Hairdressing at the shopping centre have tested positive.

Both stores have since re-opened after deep cleaning and contact tracing.

On 27 July, Greater Dandenong gained 15 new cases of Covid-19. In neighbouring Casey, the total rose by 28 to 178 active cases.

There are 55 cases in each of Monash and Kingston, 36 in Knox, 30 in Frankston and 27 in Cardinia.

The Department of Health and Human Services didn’t update the numbers of the emerging cluster at Outlook Gardens aged care home in Dandenong North.

Eleven cases had been identified at Outlook Gardens the day before.

Victoria’s death toll rose to 77, with many of the most recent victims linked to an ever-growing number of aged care homes.

As of 27 July, there were 680 active cases linked to 61 aged care facilities across the state.

Victoria Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the aged care residents were at “significant risk of dying”. The mortality rate in aged care homes overseas had been “extremely high”.

With a record 532 new cases in Victoria, the number of overall active cases was 4542.

In hospital are 245 Covid-19 patients, including 44 in intensive care. Four hundred health care workers suffer active infections.

Professor Sutton said “today should be the peak” of new cases but offered no guarantees.