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COVID-19 update - Tuesday 22 February

Dear Families of CBC Fremantle

My sleepless nights mulling over when our first COVID-19 positive case may eventuate are at an end.

CBC Fremantle received confirmation today that a member of our College community has tested positive for COVID-19. They have been at home isolating since mid-last week. We have been informed by health authorities that it is highly unlikely that any staff or students will be deemed a close contact in this instance and, at this stage, no one is required to isolate or get tested.

We are working closely with Catholic Education Western Australian (CEWA) and Department of Health Western Australia (WA Health) and will provide updates if this advice changes. Please keep this member of our community and their family, and all those impacted by the pandemic, in your thoughts and prayers.

In our latest CEWA Briefing this morning, the definition for close contact in secondary schools was deemed 'joined at the hip, without a mask, for a minimum of 2 hours'. Being a secondary school close contact will therefore be more difficult than in primary school, and the definition reinforces the need to wear masks indoors, and to wear them properly. Our staff continue to encourage boys to do this and to allow the boys to step outside if they need a couple of deep breaths.

I ask that you continue to be vigilant in applying the precautionary measures we have in place at the College: wearing masks correctly, social distancing, hand sanitising and staying home if unwell. Monitor for symptoms and, as always, get tested if symptoms develop.

I noticed a below average review about CBC Fremantle on social media last night, about the drinking fountains not being available to drink directly from. The decommissioning of direct drinking from the fountains is clearly as a result of advice from health authorities so please encourage your son to bring his own drink bottle, but please let him know that disposable cups are available from the Heads of House office should he not have a bottle. We have ordered cup dispensers to be placed at each drink fountain and they should be ready soon.

I understand that for many of you the news regarding a COVID-19 positive result may be a concern. Resources that provides tips for talking to your child about COVID-19 for parents may be found here. If you are concerned about your child specifically and wish to speak with someone further, please email their Head of House or our Director of Wellbeing, Maria Garbin.

I have heard of many instances where the first port of call for announcing one's COVID-19 test result is social media, which is never a prudent nor reliable method. We ask that information is not shared via social media as misinformation can spread like wildfire and cause unnecessary anxiety amongst students and the vulnerable in our community.

The WA Health's website provides the latest information regarding COVID-19 updates, and as always, should there be anything related to COVID-19 that you need support or reassurance about, contact me on 0400 880 861 or Vice Principal Jenny Knox on 0499 020 226.

Thank you for your understanding, support and cooperation.

Finally, and genuinely, please take the time to congratulate your son on the way he is braving the constant changes and uncertainty. I received this from a staff member the other day, which I hope is reflective of most boys.

'The vast majority of boys are absolutely wonderful about wearing masks. I am constantly amazed at how they sit in class, hot and uncomfortable, and do not complain.  I really think they are amazing – they are adolescent boys!'

Warmest regards

Mr Domenic Burgio