Dear Parents/Carers and Staff

I’m writing to update you regarding a second student at Penola Catholic College testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).

I’d like to thank the entire school community at the outset for your patience and understanding during this difficult time.

I want to reassure you that we are working closely with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Catholic Education Melbourne (CEM) to ensure you receive the best and most timely advice possible, and that the wellbeing of our students and staff is paramount.

DHHS staff have now completed the thorough investigation needed to ascertain the next steps for our school. Part of this detailed process included identifying people who have potentially come into close contact with the student. As you can imagine DHHS have been inundated with cases and, in working closely with the College, believe that we have identified all of the close contacts subject to no further information coming to light through other DHHS investigations across Melbourne.

The College has provided direct and specific advice to these individuals and their families on behalf of DHHS about self-isolating and looking after themselves.

All other members of the school community who have not been contacted by the DHHS are not identified as close contacts and therefore are deemed very low risk, so will be able to go to school as soon as it reopens.

It is important that we all continue to monitor our own health and that of our children daily during this time.

If you or your child develop any symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath:

  • stay at home and do not attend school
  • seek medical advice (call ahead to alert your doctor of the confirmed case of COVID-19 at the school and any symptoms before visiting, and take this letter along)
  • call the school to let us know.

If you or your child have a health condition or complex health needs, please discuss this with your medical specialist.

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, inclusiveness and responsibility.

More information about COVID-19 is available on the DHHS website.

I am proud to belong to such a caring and supportive school community and I thank you for your understanding at this challenging time.

The school will continue to work closely with both the CEM and the DHHS during this time, and we wish the affected member of our school community a speedy and safe recovery.

Please note: We will provide further information to families later in the week with regards to the reopening of the Broadmeadows campus. 

Yours sincerely,


Chris Caldow
Penola Catholic College