National

NSW school cluster link to Opus Dei camp

By AAP Newswire

The Catholic Opus Dei study centre linked to the coronavirus cluster at the Tangara School for Girls in Sydney's northwest has closed for deep cleaning.

Eremeran Hills Study Centre in Pennant Hills is closed until further notice "because we have been informed by NSW Health that individuals who have attended activities organised by Eremeran have tested positive to COVID-19", it says on its website.

"We have been in contact with the people affected and we are working closely with NSW Health to assist them in their contact tracing in order to contain the outbreak," it says.

There are reports students from the Opus Dei-associated Tangara School at Cherrybrook recently attended a religious retreat organised by Eremeran and there are now 17 cases linked to the school, with authorities expecting that to increase.

"At this stage we can confirm that there was a recent retreat attended by five high school girls in year 10 and 11 organised by Eremeran. We are assisting NSW Health in their endeavours to ascertain whether this may have contributed to the outbreak," Eremeran said.

Tangara has closed its secondary campus until August 24 and its junior campus until at least Wednesday after the first COVID-19 case was confirmed last week.

Eremeran offers monthly recollections and retreats for high school students through to university students and the spiritual element is entrusted to Opus Dei.

Six NSW school have been closed in the past week due to coronavirus outbreaks.

Parramatta Public School is closed on Wednesday for cleaning after a student tested positive to COVID-19.

The school is close to Our Lady of Mercy College in Parramatta, where two students tested positive for coronavirus earlier this week.

Batemans Bay Public School and Batemans Bay High School have reopened following their closure this week after students tested positive.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Tuesday stressed all schools needed to curtail co-curricular activities.

"We are in a pandemic - every organisation, every entity needs to abide by the COVID-safe plans," she said.

"My anxiety has not subsided in relation to what a knife-edge NSW is on but we need to keep pulling together and keep doing the right thing."

The Independent Education Union is urging the state government to mandate mask use for students and staff at senior schools to prevent further outbreaks in schools.