‘It’s Not the Same’: The COVID-19 Outbreak at Junction Public School Leaves Families Isolated on Christmas | Newcastle Herald


Newcastle nurse Amber Walsh had her daughter tested for COVID-19 last Monday amid a flourishing outbreak at The Junction Public School. Eleven-year-old Lilah had not been identified as close contact and was asymptomatic after spending time with a positive case in the last two days of school. Under NSW and NSW Health government guidelines, she should not have been tested. But, eight days later, Ms Walsh, her husband Ben Rainsford, son Sam and Lilah are in isolation and grateful that they have not spread the virus to vulnerable family members, friends and patients. “If we had treated Lilah as a casual contact, we would be minded about our own business,” she said. “Ben would have met people. Sam would have met a lot of his friends.” It could have been astronomical. “At last count, nine fifth graders from The Junction tested positive. Lilah had to wait four days, until Christmas Eve, before her own infection was confirmed. The discovery of the positive cases was left behind. to the school parents’ bush telegraph consisting of texting and Facebook chats rather than increasingly overwhelmed by government contact tracers. “We were lucky in the sense that one of the parents was convoed us as soon as they found out the results, ”Ms. Walsh said. “This was before we even knew the epidemic had occurred. “Her daughter had returned a positive test. That’s why we went to have Lilah tested last Monday. “Whatever phone numbers they had and whatever Facebook things they could do, they reached out.” Ms Walsh has not heard from NSW Health, but the school sent an email on Wednesday identifying the students as casual contacts and telling them to watch for symptoms. All four family members were tested on Monday and Wednesday, all of which came back negative except for Lilah’s. Ms Walsh, as a health worker, received her negative results on Tuesday and Thursday, but Lilah had to wait longer before her results came back. Like around 35,000 others across New South Wales, Ms Walsh’s family spent Christmas isolated from loved ones. “There was nothing we could do. Usually we go to see Ben’s parents, who live in Mulbring, and his father has just been released from the hospital after major surgery, so even though she was an occasional contact , he has a lot of medical problems, history and heart problems, so he said we would have Christmas another day. “My family is also quite large so we couldn’t see them either. My dad has some medical issues and we have newborn babies. “Everyone who can be vaccinated is vaccinated, but you just don’t want to spread it.” Ms Walsh is relieved that she did not unwittingly bring the virus to the private hospital in Lake Macquarie, where she is an anesthesia nurse. “By working in the region where I work, we take care of the respiratory tract, we are close to all of our patients, they are really vulnerable, even if we wear protective equipment. doing everything last week, it could have had devilish results where he shut down an entire hospital. She developed mild symptoms on Wednesday, but Ms Walsh said it was impossible to isolate a child in the house. “We didn’t try. We just isolated ourselves. It’s too difficult, and for Lilah’s sanity to be put aside like that too, it’s more damaging.” We have a small house of 140 years old with a bathroom. ”Ms. Walsh said the family tried to keep some Christmas spirit on this day.“ We tried to make things as fun as possible for the kids, even they’re older, but it was a little overwhelming when you could hear everyone around us having family, friends, music, laughing. “We used to have such a busy and chaotic day spent with the family. They tried to say they weren’t disappointed but you could tell they just weren’t on the mind. Christmas. ”Sam got a new bike. He couldn’t get it out. He must have walked around the backyard. We just ate and played a few games, but it definitely wasn’t the same. “The family is missing” It’s a killer right now, the weather is so spectacular outside and we are stuck inside, “Ms Walsh said. The couple had bought Christmas presents in November, and family and friends were eager to help keep their supplies. really lovely.” A friend dropped off some meat. at the butcher’s and we made salads, but you miss all the home cooking and shrimp and everything. “In the News Our reporters work hard to provide local and up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how you can continue to access to our trusted content:


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