Three more Canberra school communities and dozens of school principals have gone into quarantine as the number of COVID-19 cases linked to educational settings continues to grow.
Staff, students and visitors at Harrison School, St Thomas Aquinas Primary School and University of Canberra Senior Secondary College Lake Ginninderra were notified on Tuesday night that the campuses were COVID-19 exposure locations.
ACT Education Minister Yvette Berry confirmed that public school principals from across the inner north, Belconnen and Gungahlin met at Harrison School on Wednesday to discuss the response to the pandemic and a likely switch to remote learning.
"All of those school principals, the business managers and some people from the Education Directorate are now at home in quarantine and we're just waiting for some advice from the Chief Health Officer on what happens there," Ms Berry said.
Chief health officer Kerryn Coleman said there were 15 cases associated with Lyneham High School and five cases have been contracted at the Gold Creek School in Nicholls.
Dr Coleman said the median age of confirmed cases was 19.5, with an age range of three to 62 years.
The growing number of cases in young people prompted calls from the Independent Education Union for the ACT government to prioritise vaccinations for staff in schools and early childhood services before they reopen beyond supervision for children of essential workers and vulnerable children.
"Schools and early childhood centres need to be safe for staff required to work on site. All staff should have access to vaccines and be protected from risk of harm as much as possible," NSW/ACT branch secretary Mark Northam said in an open letter to the Chief Minister.
Students, staff and visitors of Harrison School will be prioritised for testing at the Gold Creek School pop-up testing centre.
The primary and secondary campuses were close-contact exposure sites on Wednesday, August 11, and Thursday, August 12, from 8.30am to 3.30pm.
Harrison School is a super school which has 636 high school students and 1277 preschool to year 6 students.
St Thomas Aquinas Primary School in Charnwood was a close-contact exposure site from 8.30am to 4pm on Thursday, August 12. This Catholic school has 393 students from preschool to year 6.
The gymnasium and canteen area of University of Canberra Senior Secondary College Lake Ginninderra was a close contact exposure location on Monday, August 9, from 10am to 1.30pm.
People who were on other parts of the campus at this time have been asked to monitor for symptoms. The college has 664 year 11 and 12 students enrolled.
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Close contacts are required to quarantine for 14 days since they were last at the exposure site and to get tested in coming days. Household members of close contacts also need to quarantine, but only need to be tested if they have symptoms.
It comes after Gold Creek School in Nicholls, Holy Spirit Primary School in Nicholls, Lyneham High School, Chapman Primary School after school care service and the instrumental music program rehearsal room at UC High School Kaleen were previously listed as COVID-19 exposure sites.
The CIT Bruce and Reid campuses were also listed as close-contact exposure sites.
Online information forums will be held for the communities of the three new school exposure locations.
Emergency Services Agency personnel and volunteers were delivering 476 packages to public school students, including laptops and remote learning supplies, with a focus on students from Gold Creek School and Lyneham High School.
The ACT government set up a frequently asked questions website to provide information to schools.
Ms Berry said school psychologists would be available for telehealth sessions with public school students. Bookings can be made by calling 6205 1559 from 9.30am to 4.30pm or by booking online.
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