Dear Parents and Carers,

I wanted to send a message to the Leanyer Primary School community this afternoon as I understand and appreciate that many of you have questions around the connection of one of the confirmed cases of COVID-19 with your school.

This morning, the school had my Senior Public Health Physician on site to support the Principal in discussions with families and staff.

There were a couple of questions raised and the purpose of this email is to provide you with the responses to these.

Can we find out what class the students attended?

We are not providing this information as there was no risk to the class and therefore no need for sharing this information. We are respecting the family’s right to privacy.

What I can tell you is that the two students who attend your school have not been unwell, went into quarantine as required and have been tested and have returned negative tests.

The usual process has been followed in investigating this family and their contacts and that work has established that there is no risk to the school community and no need to close the school.

What is the difference between community and close transmission?

 Imported cases to the NT are all those cases acquired overseas or interstate. Close contacts of known COVID-19 cases are at risk of developing COVID-19 infection and are quarantined on that basis of risk – they are linked to a case that has been acquired overseas or interstate.

Community transmission has not occurred in the NT – we have had no COVID-19 case that is not linked to overseas or interstate travel.

Is a person contagious when they are asymptomatic and is there a risk that the family could have passed on COVID-19 prior to 25 March when they were in the school?

 There is a risk identified of passing on the disease in the 24 hours before becoming unwell – people may be infectious but not realise they are becoming unwell. The contact tracing period includes 24 hours before a person first reported symptoms.

The family members that have developed the disease in quarantine remained well for several days in quarantine before developing symptoms and therefore were not at risk of passing on the disease when they last had contact with the school.

 Can Leanyer Primary School get tested in light of the recent advice?

Leanyer Primary School community has no need to get tested – there remains no community transmission in the NT and we are confident your community is safe. If someone from the school becomes unwell with COVID-19 like symptoms please discuss with your GP or the Coronavirus hotline if you need further advice or information.

We would like to acknowledge and thank all of the staff at Leanyer Primary School. The Principal and staff are following the public health advice and your children are very safe in their hands.

You can find out more information on the Northern Territory Government Coronavirus website – https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/stay-safe/if-you-are-unwell

If you or your children are experiencing symptoms you are encouraged to contact your doctor, or contact the Coronavirus Health Line – 1800 008 002.

A/Prof Dianne Stephens OAM
NT Deputy Chief Health Officer
NT Public Health Directorate Lead
NT COVID-19 Health Incident Controller

06/04/2020