Shepparton News

FAMILIES FORCED INTO ISOLATION

AS GSSC COMMUNITY RISES TO THE CHALLENGE, AUTHORITIE­S SAY ISOLATION NEEDED TO CONTAIN SPREAD

- By Darren Linton

Greater Shepparton Secondary College executive principal Barbara O’Brien says the school community has pulled together after students and their families were told to quarantine for 14 days regardless of whether they return a negative COVID-19 test.

School will return tomorrow with online classes and Ms O’Brien said teachers and welfare staff would also support students through a difficult two weeks.

“I can’t speak highly enough of the community and how they have responded to this, everyone is a bit anxious,” she said.

“We have never faced this before so it is a new challenge for all of us and everyone is supporting each other, the wider community is also offering support and reaching out to ask how they can help, it really shows the strength of our community.”

Health experts addressed hundreds of families in an online meeting on Saturday night.

Victorian Health Department’s Paul Johnson said quarantine was the best tool available to prevent spread and warned the region could have an explosion of cases if families were not forced into isolation.

Mr Johnson said Shepparton successful­ly crushed the virus in 2020, but that strain took five days to regenerate its infectiven­ess and generally in a household would spread to two out of every five members.

The Delta variant regenerate­s after transmissi­on in two days and will infect every member of a household.

“We have to work together, if we did nothing we would have 8000 cases in four weeks and every resource in Shepparton would be overwhelme­d,” he said.

All three campuses of GSSC are Tier 1 sites and all family members living under the same roof as a student has to isolate for 14 days.

Julyan Howard from GV Health urged the school community to be patient.

“Our capacity as a health services is being stretched,” he said.

“We managed a similar outbreak last year and we did really well because we had the community backing us, we need that again.”

The Health Department is working with local councils to meet the emergency needs of families.

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 ??  ?? Answering the call: GSSC executive principal Barbara O’Brien has praised the school community members for the way they have dealt with the public health order to quarantine.
Answering the call: GSSC executive principal Barbara O’Brien has praised the school community members for the way they have dealt with the public health order to quarantine.
 ??  ?? Plea: GV Health’s Julyan Howard has urged the school community to be patient.
Plea: GV Health’s Julyan Howard has urged the school community to be patient.

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