Local News

Hunter regions warned of transmission in classroom environments


Hunter New England Health are urging schools to closely monitor the transmission of COVID-19 within classroom environments. 

Chief Health Officer Dr David Durrheim stated since schools have opened up across the Hunter New England they have seen a number of outbreaks, particularly in primary schools. 

"We've seen over 70 primary schools affected by COVID in the schools and 40 percent of those we've seen transmission between children.

"Its really important that schools take every measure possible, even though sometimes the weather is challenging to make sure that children have much of their school activities outdoors. 

"Make sure that windows and doors are thrown wide open and that crowding is prevented in the schools as much as possible," Dr Durrheim said. 

Since schools were allowed to re-open, numerous facilities across the Hunter New England were subjected to shutting down and re-opening orders. 

"We've seen outbreaks right across the Hunter New England region in small towns in Wingen and Tingha and larger towns like Tamworth and across Newcastle and Maitland," Dr Durrheim said.

Some of the schools which have been implicated so far throughout the Hunter regions include Anna Bay Public School, Cardiff South Public School, Carrington Public School, Eleebana Public School, Garden Suburbs Public School, Hunter River Community School, Hunter Sports High School, Inverell High School, Jewells Public School, Kotara South Public School, Mailtland East Public School, Mayfield West Public School, Newcastle Junior School, Shortland Public School, Tamworth Public School, Tamworth South Public School, Thornton Public School, Windale Public School.

These schools have since reopened their doors and do not have any current COVID-19 cases.

Dr Durrheim said teachers have managed to remain protected throughout the school outbreaks. 

"What we have seen in outbreaks in primary schools which is quite intriguing is that school teachers who are double vaccinated and wearing masks have not been impacted. 

"Teachers are obviously being protected by COVID by being double vaccinated," he said. 

It comes after there were 22 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the past 24-hours. 

It included nine from Lake Macquarie, six in the Mid-Coast, five in Moree Plains and one in Newcastle and Armidale. 

There were 14 infectious while out in the community and eight isolating during their infectious period. 

To stay up to date with school closures, check: https://education.nsw.gov.au/public-schools/school-safety#NSW0

To see vaccination rates by postcode visit https://bit.ly/NSW_Vaccination_by_postcode.

Image: Grant Broadcasters

Tags: coronavirus, covid-19