Covid-19: What's happening in the schools in the neighbourhood

Wednesday 25 Mar 2020

We keep in touch with what's happening in schools in the neighbourhood, especially at Quakers Hills public school. With cases of Covid-19 detected in Quakers Hill nursing home and the Blacktown council closing down pools, gyms and libraries, there has been some discussion on what is going to happen to our schools.

Quakers Hill public school remains open.

The NSW Department of Education's advice is to keep all public schools open. Schools will remain open for parents, regardless of their occupation. The department is providing information online and through public media almost continuously. Things are very dynamic and can change, even as we write this.

Parents have been advised that they can keep their children at home if they wish to. Schools have been setting up their 'learn at home' programs, and it is not immediately known what Quakers Hill Public School wants to do.

Cases detected close to Quakers Hill public school.

There are more than 1000 cases in NSW as we write this and some close to home. Two cases have been detected in Blacktown city after a patient was diagnoses positive in the Opal Aged Care's Quakers Hill Nursing Home on Hambledon Rd. A resident tested positive to the virus on Sunday afternoon, and lockdown procedures were put in place.

Testing is in place in the care home, like temperature checks for everyone entering the home. Contacts have been traced with the help of the govt.

It is a second confirmed case after a patient who attended a medical centre in Plumpton tested positive on March 5.

Blacktown council services have been suspended including the Blacktown leisure centre.

The council has closed down services near Quakers Hill public school, including the Blacktown swimming and leisure centre in front of our office. The Athletics track, the Blacktown International Sportspark stays open.

Blacktown leisure centre

Blacktown leisure centre

The centres closing due to the outbreak include Blacktown Aquatic Centre, Blacktown Leisure Centre Stanhope, Mt Druitt Swimming Centre, Riverstone Swimming Centre and Charlie Lowles Leisure Centre Emert. Blacktown City's Max Webber Library, Dennis Johnson Library, The Mount Druitt Hub, Lalor Park Library and Riverstone Library will all close indefinitely. Home Library service will continue to operate.

Should you keep your child at home?

A large percentage of the kids are already at home across the country. "Because nearly 30 per cent of children are already being kept out of school, for practical reasons NSW is encouraging parents to keep their children at home," said Premier Ms Berejiklian. There is a fair amount of information about learning from home on the govt website.

It is hard to implement social distancing measures at schools. We have been advised by some doctors to keep our own kids at home for the time being, but what needs to be done with schools is being debated continuously.

The secretary of the Department of Education announced that schools would adopt social distancing measures needing them to discontinue assemblies, excursions, travel, some events and conferences.

"All inter-school arts, sports, initiative activities and events, all significant arts, sports and initiative activities and events will temporarily be discontinued. Whole-school sporting events and inter-school events involving three or more schools will not be held anymore. "Local inter-school sport and other activities will proceed as of now, with reasonable precautions taken," Mr Scott said.

**For more information see the school website.