Dear Parents and Carers

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has confirmed that a student at Penola Catholic College has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).

While the student was most recently on site on 17 & 20 July, the DHHS and Catholic Education Melbourne (CEM) have advised that Penola Catholic College close from today, Monday 27 July for at least three days initially while the Broadmeadows campus receives a pandemic clean.

This closure will allow time for the school and the DHHS to work through a contact and containment strategy.

This includes identifying and notifying any person who has been in close recent contact with the affected student who has tested positive for COVID-19. Affected students, their families and school staff will be notified by Penola Catholic College over the next 24 hours and supported to ensure they understand what actions to take.

Students are advised to remain at home while contact tracing occurs. They must limit movements to home-based activities and not attend public places.

I understand this news will be concerning for many of you. I want to assure you we are doing everything we can to contain and slow the spread of the virus and ensure the health and safety of our whole school community.

As per the DHHS and CEM guidelines it is essential that information about the student who has tested positive remains confidential. Unnecessary discussion about the individual, including gossip, hearsay and social media commentary, is potentially damaging to their wellbeing and is not in keeping with our Josephite ethos of an environment based on compassion, respect, justice and responsibility.

The school is being supported by the DHHS and the CEM regarding our next steps and appropriate action.

The school will update all families once the contact tracing has been completed and a decision about reopening the school facilities for students is made. We will continue to keep you informed as further updates become available.

More information regarding coronavirus and schools is available on the DHHS and CEM websites.

Yours sincerely,

Chris Caldow
Penola Catholic College