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Sydney teacher’s plea to others after positive coronavirus test

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

A Sydney primary school teacher has issued a plea for Australians to take social distancing seriously after testing positive to COVID-19.

Coronavirus: Pressure for schools to close

A Sydney primary school teacher has issued a plea for Australians to take social distancing seriously after testing positive to COVID-19.

The teacher was the first of two coronavirus cases to emerge at Normanhurst West Public School in the city's upper north shore. The first case was confirmed on March 21 while the second positive test was made public on Tuesday.

The school has been closed since Monday and, as a result of the second positive test, all staff at the school are required to self-isolate for 14 days.

READ MORE: Live coronavirus updates

Writing on Facebook in a post to a local community page, the staff member revealed how easily she caught the virus, despite taking a number of measures to stay safe, including avoiding shaking hands and washing her hands regularly.

"I caught the virus two-and-a-half weeks ago when large public gatherings had not been banned; I knew not to shake hands or hug someone but was not implementing social distancing," the teacher wrote.

READ MORE: How social distancing can halt the spread of coronavirus

Two cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed at Normanhurst West Public School, forcing all staff to self-isolate for 14 days.

"I was washing my hands regularly, using hand sanitiser and consciously not touching my face but these alone were not enough (to keep me) from catching this very contagious virus." understands the teacher's contact with the second infected staff member was minimal and confined to one staff meeting where the pair sat about one metre away from each other.

The teacher, who is now self-isolating in the bedroom of her home to protect her family, said she hoped her story would help people realise how important it was for everyone to follow the advice of health experts and the government on social distancing.

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"I urge you to take social distancing very seriously, and if you are someone vulnerable in the community to wear a face mask," the teacher wrote.

The teacher also revealed the symptoms she experienced, including a strange loss of smell.

A letter from the Department of Education to parents at the school confirming a second COVID-19 case.

The first sign of her illness was "a mild sore throat" which went away after two days, the teacher wrote.

"I then started to come down with a mild flu - I was not running a temperature," she wrote.

"The mild flu began to resolve itself and around this point in time I completely lost my sense of smell. I thought I was spraying odourless Glen 20 when my husband said 'phew what is that smell?'.

"I tested out my lack of smell on several products, which I remembered what they usually smell like, and each one was completely odourless." 

Meanwhile, a letter from the Department of Education to parents said the school was working with NSW Health to resume operations by tomorrow with "alternative learning structures in place".

With all staff in isolation, the school principal of nearby Pennant Hills Public School, Matthew Pinchbeck, would be brought in as relieving principal, the letter said.

The children of essential service workers and others who wished to attend school would receive minimal supervision when it reopened tomorrow, the letter said. has contacted the Department of Education for comment.

Contact reporter Emily McPherson at

Source: 9News

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