19 Sep 2020

Community 'anxious, scared' after child's positive Covid-19 test

6:22 am on 19 September 2020

A Covid-19 testing station set up at a South Auckland school was swamped on Friday, after a pupil tested positive for the virus.

Chapel Downs Primary School.

Chapel Downs Primary School. Photo: Google Maps

An asymptomatic child attended Chapel Downs School near Botany briefly on Monday morning, before family knew the student had the virus.

The infected child was at school from 8.30am to 9am on Monday morning before being collected by their family.

The school has now been shut down for deep cleaning and anyone who was present at the school on Monday morning is being advised to stay away from people outside their bubble until they are tested and receive a negative result.

A "very small" number had been determined to be close contacts but no number was specified by ARPHS.

There was a two-day delay in the school finding out the pupil had tested positive after attending school.

On Friday, a queue of cars lined up along the road outside the school's entrance to get to the testing clinic on school grounds.

Whānau Ora community testing clinic lead Beverley Taoho said staff completed 95 tests between 9.30am and 12.30pm.

Taoho said some people were diverted to a nearby clinic in Wiri due to the backlog.

The people who came in today were tense, she said.

"Anxious, scared, worried, just everything."

Students, their families, neighours and people in the community were among those who turned out to get a test, she said.

Taoho says the clinic was "absolutely prepared" for the influx.

"We've been in it since April so we're well prepared. We've evolved over time to improve our practices," she said.

Some parents have been angry that parents were not informed of the pupil testing positive earlier.

A grandparent waiting with her grandkids to get a test was worried the virus could have spread due to the delay.

"It's been two days and everybody from this school would have gone everywhere. So from here, [we have to] try to contain the cluster from here now."

Another parent is worried about Covid 19 popping up in his community.

His children are getting tested to be sure they are safe to come back to school.

"We've seen how bad it can be for people and we've also learnt from the science about the impacts of getting the disease," he said.

"Better safe than sorry."

School principal Vaughan van Rensburg told RNZ this morning once the school found out, it acted within minutes to inform the school community.

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