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Melbourne teacher tests positive to coronavirus

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

A teacher from a school in Melbourne’s north-west has tested positive to coronavirus as about 400,000 students begin to return to classrooms. 

A teacher from a school in Melbourne's north-west has tested positive to coronavirus as about 400,000 students begin to return to classrooms

The Keilor Downs College teacher returned a positive diagnosis last Friday amid the state's COVID-19 testing blitz.

Education Minister James Merlino assured reporters today there was no "further risk", with the school reopening again today.

"There was no exposure to the school site," he said.

"No close contacts were identified at the school. Because of the timing, there is no further action required at the school."

Principal Linda Maxwell in a statement said the teacher would remain in isolation at home until the Department of Health permitted them to return to school.

"Please do not be alarmed but one of our staff has tested positive to COVID-19 in a community test," she wrote on the school's Facebook page.

"They have not been at school at all during this time so there is no action required at school.

"We have not been asked to close for cleaning and there are no contacts at school."

Ms Maxwell said the Department of Health indicated the infection was contracted via community transmission, as the teacher had "very limited contact" outside of their home.

"They contracted the virus while they were on remote learning so there is no possibility of involvement from anyone at KDC," she said.

"I really need your support to keep things calm and to ensure that students still feel confident to return to face-to-face teaching."

Victorian students from prep to year 2, year 11 and 12 and specialist schools have returned to school grounds today, after spending more than a month of term two learning from home.

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About 10,000 school staff have been tested for coronavirus, with just the one teacher returning a positive test.

Mr Merlino stressed it was safe for students to return to face-to-face learning. But immunocompromised students would still be allowed to learn remotely.

"We have been very careful and cautious with how we have approached this pandemic," he said.

READ MORE: How school will be different in Victoria

"Our principals, teachers and support staff have done a brilliant job over the last seven weeks, engaging with their students through flexible and remote learning.

"Our teachers are raring to go. This is still going to be a challenging time. Schools will continue to look different."

Victoria has recorded five new cases of coronavirus, including another case at aged care facility HammondCare in Caulfield.

The state's total has risen to 1610, three of those new cases being detected among returned overseas travellers and one through routine COVID-19 testing.

READ MORE: The restrictions easing in Victoria on May 26

"The resident has been moved to a separate building at the facility and identified close contacts are already in quarantine," Mr Merlino said.

"The source of acquisition for this case is still under investigation including looking at potential links to the pervious case at the facility."

The facility's coronavirus tally now sits at two, with an 84-year-old resident initially testing positive before returning two negative results to the virus last week.

HammondCare in a statement confirmed a second resident returned a positive test for coronavirus but has since tested negative.

Senior nurse and general manager Angela Raguz said the conflicting results were "odd and unusual".

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"The impact this has had on residents, family and friends, and staff is significant and is being taken seriously by HammondCare," she said.

"Discussions continue with the Department of Health and Human Services so we can better understand why these conflicting results have occurred."

There are eight people in hospitals across the state, including three patients in intensive care.

While 182 cases may indicate community transmission.

There are 56 active coronavirus cases in Victoria.

Source: 9News

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