Queensland’s Crestmead State School, Kingston State College, and the Pacific Pines State High School confirmed reports that one pupil in each school was isolated on Friday after they flew home from holidays onboard a Tiger Airways flight with someone infected by the deadly coronavirus.
According to authorities, respective students in Year 1 at Crestmead, Year 8 at Kingston, and Year 10 at Pacific Pines boarded a flight from Melbourne to the Gold Coast on Monday and with them is a 44-year-old Chinese national that has tested positive to coronavirus.
Reports confirmed that the man had traveled from the city of Wuhan, the origin of the virus outbreak in China, to Melbourne, and then on to Queensland. The schools each spread the news out to concerned parents in special newsletters this afternoon.
The Crestmead newsletter said:
“Today we received information that a member of our school community – a Year 1 student … – was on that flight.”
“In accordance with the established protocol, they are now in isolation purely as a precautionary measure.”
“There is very little likelihood of transmission within our school community and there is no need for other students or staff to be isolated.”
A separate text message was sent to parents that stated the school remains open and is functioning normally.
The Kingston and Pacific Pines newsletters likewise stated that a Year 8 and Year 10 student were also on that flight.
The newsletters announced:
“The Department of Education has been liaising with Queensland Health on this matter and there remains an extremely low risk in relation to possible transmission.”
Despite the reassurances and announcements, a number of parents and members of the community continued to share panicked posts on Friday afternoon.
As one Facebook post went viral immediately, one of the parents said:
“Everyone needs to take a deep breath… the student does not have the virus.”
As of the moment, authorities reported that only nine people have tested positive to the virus in Australia, and another two Australian citizens in China.
Additionally, a 44-year-old Chinese man and a 42-year-old woman have also tested positive in Queensland and are currently receiving treatment.
According to the airlines, more than 150 people were on board the Tiger flight and health officials are now attempting to contact every single passenger on board.
A spokesperson form the Department of Education told Daily Mail Australia:
“Crestmead State School and Kingston State College sent precautionary letters to families today about novel coronavirus (Friday 31 January).”
“All Queensland state schools continue to follow advice from Queensland Health regarding coronavirus”
“As of 4 pm today no Queensland state school student has a confirmed case, and no Queensland state school has been closed.”