Coronavirus

School closures due to coronavirus the 'new normal', Gladys Berejiklian says

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian Source: AAP

Two schools in Sydney's eastern suburbs have closed after positive coronavirus cases among two students as most children returned to classrooms full-time.

NSW school closures will be the "new normal" under coronavirus easing Premier Gladys Berejiklian says, after two private schools in Sydney's eastern were closed for cleaning following positive cases among students.

Waverley College and Moriah College both confirmed on Tuesday the schools had closed after students tested positive to COVID-19, as the state recorded just two new cases.

Waverley College, where a year seven boy tested positive, was evacuated within 90 minutes of learning about the case, a spokeswoman told AAP.

The school, which reopened last Monday, is undertaking deep cleaning and will advise parents about its restart date after hearing from NSW Health.

Moriah College closed about midday after it received confirmation from NSW Health a pupil, who was on campus on May 21, had tested positive to COVID-19.

The college, which started bringing students back on May 7, said in a statement it had activated its evacuation plan and hoped to reopen for face-to-face teaching from next week.

'It was time to go back to school'

Ms Berejiklian on Wednesday encouraged anyone connected to the schools to seek testing and said the source of the respective cases remained unknown.

She said case numbers across the state are very low and denied jumping the gun in returning to classrooms so quickly.

"Not at all. It was time to go back to school. Unfortunately this is the new normal during the pandemic. It will happen again," Ms Berejiklian told the Nine Network.

"It is a very big coincidence two students in close proximity happened to get it when we have had very low numbers of students actually getting the disease.

"It means we have to be prepared for this to happen again ... because this happens in two schools with one student each doesn't mean you shut down the entire system."

The evacuations came a day after public school students returned to full-time classroom learning on Monday and more people headed back to on-site work.

NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said the absentee rate at NSW schools on Monday was 14 per cent, only marginally higher than the average 10 per cent rate.

Almost 3100 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in NSW, with almost 457,000 people tested for the virus across the state and one person currently in intensive care.

The state's death toll remains at 50.

The state government announced $12.8 million on Tuesday to help domestic and family violence during the COVID-19 pandemic and a "Stop Public Threats" campaign was also launched to target xenophobia exacerbated by the crisis.

Ms Berejiklian, meanwhile, reiterated on Wednesday she'd like the NSW-Queensland border to reopen despite the intransigence of Queensland counterpart Annastacia Palaszczuk.

She denied the debate over state borders had turned nasty.

"There is no point being elected to this role and not expressing what you feel is in the best interest of your citizens," Ms Berejiklian said.

"We have invited everybody from Australia to move freely through NSW from June 1.

"If you live in Tweed or northern NSW and you have relatives or services you access on the other side of the border it has been very difficult for them."

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits. Testing for coronavirus is now widely available across Australia.

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. The federal government's coronavirus tracing app COVIDSafe is available for download from your phone's app store.

SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments. News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus.

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