A study and prayer retreat is the suspected catalyst for a ballooning COVID-19 cluster linked to an independent Catholic girls school in western Sydney. Source: Sydney Morning Herald.
Health authorities are searching for the source of a coronavirus outbreak affecting Tangara School for Girls at Cherrybrook in Sydney’s Hills District and its close-knit community.
The Tangara cluster grew to 17 COVID-19 cases yesterday, including 11 senior students across at least two year groups, one teacher, three household contacts and two social contacts.
More cases are expected in the coming days among the large families whose daughters are enrolled at the school, as contact tracers focus on their extra-curricular interactions.
Several students who tested positive for the virus attended a retreat co-ordinated by the Opus Dei study centre Eremeran and held at a convention centre in Bargo, approximately 90 kilometres south-west of Sydney.
A spokesman for Tangara said the school had not arranged the retreat, was not aware the study camp was going ahead and no teachers attended. Eremeran did not respond to multiple calls and requests for comment.
News South Wales Premier Glayds Berejiklian said she expected the Tangara cluster would grow, knowing people who live in the same households as positive cases were “extremely susceptible” to catching the virus.
Several families with daughters at Tangara also have sons enrolled at Redfield College in Dural. Both schools are run by the Parents for Education (PARED) Foundation, a not-for-profit Opus Dei organisation.
Religious study retreat at centre of COVID-19 cluster (By By Kate Aubusson and Natassia Chrysanthos, Sydney Morning Herald)