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Australia Contact tracers zero in on source of Tangara cluster linked to retreat

02:26  13 august  2020
02:26  13 august  2020 Source:   smh.com.au

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The cluster linked to the Tangara School for Girls has grown to 19, including 12 senior students, one teacher, four household contacts and two casual contacts . Contact tracers are close to identifying the suspected "patient zero " for the Tangara School for Girls cluster linked to a religious study retreat .

Cluster linked to Sydney's Tangara school grows, source of outbreak a mystery. Skip to sections navigation Skip to content Skip to footer. The cluster linked to the Catholic school in Cherrybrook in Sydney's Hills District grew to 17 on Tuesday as contact tracers zero in on a retreat attended by

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Contact tracers are close to identifying the suspected "patient zero" for the Tangara School for Girls cluster linked to a religious study retreat.

The number of COVID-19 cases associated with the independent Catholic Opus Dei school in Cherrybrook has grown to 19, including 12 senior students, one teacher, four household contacts and two casual contacts.

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Contact tracers in New South Wales believe they are close to identifying 'patient zero ' in the cluster linked to a school in Sydney's north-west.

As a user of AKS, I would like to scale the node count in the node pool down to zero . This will allow me to "shut down" all operations running in the cluster without having to purge the cluster of any configuration.

The source of the Tangara cluster is still under investigation but NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant indicated her team had found a likely index case.

"We have some hypotheses but that person is not linked to a known cluster," Dr Chant said, suggesting contact tracers believe they have found the first person to have contracted coronavirus among the cluster cases, but do not know how they were infected.

Gallery: Coronavirus in Australia

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Wednesday repeated her warning - particularly to non-government schools - that extra-curricular camps and retreats should not be held during the pandemic.

Several of the students diagnosed with COVID-19 had attended a study-and-prayer retreat organised by Opus Dei's Eremeran Hills Study Centre at Bargo Convention Centre, located roughly 90km south-west of Sydney.

Eremeran confirmed five high school girls, in year 10 and 11, had recently attended a retreat.

"We have been informed by NSW Health that individuals who have attended activities organised by Eremeran have tested positive to COVID-19," Eremeran said in a statement.

"We are continuing to assist NSW Health in their endeavours to ascertain whether the retreat may have contributed to the outbreak."

All staff with the study centre had tested negative for COVID-19, including those who supervised the retreat, and no other adults were present at the retreat, administrators told The Sydney Morning Herald.

"Eremeran has sought to follow COVIDSafe protocols including social distancing, best practice for maintaining hygiene, not providing food at activities, keeping a detailed record of attendance, providing hand sanitiser."

Both Eremeran and the Bargo Conference Centre are now closed.

Tangara School for Girls in Cherrybrook, northwest of Sydney, Tuesday, August 11, 2020. The cluster linked to the Catholic school in Cherrybrook in Sydney's Hills District grew to 17 overnight as contact tracers zero in on a retreat attended by several students who were later diagnosed with COVID-19. © AAP Image/Mick Tsikas Tangara School for Girls in Cherrybrook, northwest of Sydney, Tuesday, August 11, 2020. The cluster linked to the Catholic school in Cherrybrook in Sydney's Hills District grew to 17 overnight as contact tracers zero in on a retreat attended by several students who were later diagnosed with COVID-19.

Dr Chant said it would be inappropriate to speculate on the case until her contact tracing team discovered the exact chains of transmission or how the virus got into Tangara.

"We know that a number of students attended [the retreat]," Dr Chant said.

"We are not at the moment imputing exactly the chains of transmission until we have the full pieces of the puzzle ... The source of the Tangara outbreak is still not known," she said.

Speaking generally, Dr Chant said overnight stays, shared facilities, and indoor environments raise the risk of transmission. Singing and chanting in confined environments are also higher risk activities, she said.

Tangara alumni who attended retreats during their school years said Eremeran and the Opus Dei-run boys' study centre Nairana were embedded within Tangara School for Girls and its brother school, Redfield College at Dural.

A number of staff at both schools live on-site at each of the centres in gender-segregated accommodation, providing after-school tutoring or mentoring and regularly attending retreats.

A Tangara spokesperson told the Herald that the school had followed NSW Health advice, had not held extracurricular school activities or camps since March, and no teacher attended any recent retreats.

"Eremeran is a third-party provider of after-school care, a homework centre and other activities and retreats for the community," the spokesperson said.

"Bookings are undertaken directly with the organisation and the school plays no role in organising or monitoring attendees."

Tangara will be closed until Monday August 24, including the junior school as an additional precaution.

"The school was professionally deep cleaned last weekend with additional and ongoing daily cleaning prior to the return of students. We will continue to keep our school families and staff updated with any further information from NSW Health," the spokesperson said.


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usr: 3
This is interesting!