Two students at a western Sydney private school and another in the city’s north have tested positive for coronavirus as the number of confirmed cases continues to rise across NSW.
A boy and a girl from Year 10 at St Patrick’s Marist College in Dundas, near Parramatta, have both tested positive for the virus.
Parents have been told to pick their children up from the school as soon as possible, which will be closed on Tuesday.
“Collect your children... these matters are evolving,” NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said at a press conference on Monday.
A Year 7 student at Willoughby Girls High School has also tested positive for the virus. A similar directive has also been sent to parents of students at the school, Mr Hazzard said.
He revealed her mother has an Iranian background and is currently being interviewed to work out the source of the contraction.
“Obviously when you have new cases at a school, it's cause for concern, because we want to make sure that we move as quickly as possible to require isolation of others who might have had contact with the confirmed cases," Mr Hazzard said.
The Dundas school is 6km southwest of Epping Boys High School where one male student tested positive for the virus on Thursday.
The surrounding area has been dubbed Sydney’s epicentre of the virus following the death of two elderly residents at a Macquarie Park aged care facility.
The three additional cases take the state’s total to 46.
Testing to be ramped up across NSW
NSW health authorities are working with GPs to ramp up their access to coronavirus testing as they urge people who are experiencing mild symptoms to get tested.
The state's chief medical officer Dr Kerry Chant on Monday said authorities were looking at ways to increase access to COVID-19 testing for GPs.
"We are looking at scaling up testing and we are working with our colleagues in general practice to support them having greater access to testing," Dr Chant told the Seven Network.
For people who feel "severely unwell," the advice is to visit a hospital emergency department.
Dr Chant reassured people that the detection system in NSW is effective and authorities are working hard to trace people who have been in contact with confirmed cases.
"The group that causes us the most challenge and those where we do not know a source," she said.
"We're investigating intensively to identify chains of transmission in the community to stop those chains."
WA confirms fifth case
A West Australian woman aged in her 60s has contracted coronavirus from her husband after he returned from Iran, making her the state's first person-to-person transmission of COVID-19.
The woman is WA's fifth case of coronavirus.
WA Health Minister Roger Cook said her husband had returned from Iran in the past fortnight and was not being considered the state's sixth case as he was apparently no longer symptomatic.
Australia imposed a travel ban on Iran on February 29.
"Community spread is an inevitability - it's a question of when not if," Mr Cook told reporters on Monday.
WA's fourth case was confirmed on Sunday.
The woman, aged in her 70s, returned to Perth from Cuba via London on Thursday, was tested the next day after suffering mild symptoms and went to a concert at the Perth Concert Hall on Saturday, when the test returned positive.
The Department of Health urged people undergoing testing to remain home and self-isolate, with results taking up to 48 hours.
The state government will open COVID-19 clinics within three Perth hospitals this week.
Three more cases confirmed in Victoria
Three new coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Victoria, taking the state's total to 15 and prompting a special meeting of cabinet ministers.
The spike in cases comes as Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos insists medical professionals have her support, despite not apologising to an infected doctor whom she chided for going to work when he felt unwell.
Authorities confirmed on Monday two of the most recent COVID-19 cases are returned travellers from the United States, while another is from Iran.
Premier Daniel Andrews has called a special meeting of his cabinet's security and emergency management committee on Tuesday morning to discuss the state's coronavirus preparations.
Victoria has not yet had a coronavirus case transmitted locally, but Ms Mikakos expects it will.
"This is likely to occur and is just a matter of time," Ms Mikakos told reporters on Monday.
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