By Luke Voogt
Two separate COVID-19 cases have forced the closure of Drysdale and Grovedale West primary schools this morning.
“Our school has been advised of a reported case of coronavirus (COVID-19),” Drysdale Primary School principal Phil Dunlop-Moore said in an email this morning.
“This case has been reported to the Department of Education and Training (DET) and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is undertaking further investigation.
“As a precautionary measure, Drysdale Primary School will be closed for 24 hours on Monday July 20 while we await further advice.
“The school will be closed to all students, staff and members of the community.
“All students and staff are asked to stay at home until DHHS advises otherwise.
“We will provide further information following confirmation of advice from DHHS.”
In the email Mr Dunlop-Moore said he was unable to provide further information on the case at this stage.
“I am very aware that this is a time of heightened anxiety for us all.
“The people best-placed to answer your questions are the DET staff who are supporting us.
“You can contact them on the coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline on 1800 338 663.”
Parent Renee Stokes told the Independent she feared for her children attending the school, especially her son who has bronchial scarring on his lung from when he had bronchitis at six-weeks-old.
“It’s a bit scary because you don’t know whether that child was in your child’s class,” the mother-of-five said.
“And I feel sorry for that poor family and what they’re going through. We need to pull together and look after each other as a community.”
Ms Stokes said she had pulled her three oldest children out of school for a couple weeks back in March due to the pandemic.
“I’m very anxious,” she said.
“The children and I all wear masks. We’ve just been trying to keep really careful and cautious, and now we’ve been notified of this.”
Grovedale West Primary School had also contacted parents and guardians to notify them it had closed, the Department of Education and Training confirmed this morning.
“We will provide further information following confirmation of advice from DHHS,” an email from the school said.
The closures come as the DHHS recorded five new cases in greater Geelong on Saturday.
The increase brought Geelong’s active COVID-19 cases to 11, with 82 in total, as of midnight on Saturday, according to the department.
The increase came after two cases recovered last Friday, July 17, according to DHHS.
Active cases dropped from eight last Thursday, to six last Friday, with no change to the overall total over those two days.