COVID alert for Parramatta cathedral

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A parishioner is tested for COVID-19 in the car park of Our Lady of Lebanon church in Sydney on 21 July. PHOTO: G Portelli

Parishioners of a western Sydney church have been asked to be on alert for symptoms after a person who attended a Mass this month tested positive to the coronavirus.

NSW Health advised on 29 July that the person attended the 8am Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Parramatta on Sunday 19 July.

“People who attended this mass are advised to monitor for symptoms and seek testing if they develop symptoms,” it said in a statement.

The cathedral ministry said that people who had attended the Mass were considered casual contacts and NSW Health had advised that it was not necessary to close the cathedral.

It said the person remained outside of the cathedral during Mass, did not receive Holy Communion and that cathedral was cleaned following the Mass in line with its COVID-Safe plan.

“The Cathedral remains open for Mass and services for a maximum of 100 people,” the statement said.

“Under the Cathedral’s COVID-Safe plan, our staff will clean pews and other frequently-touched surfaces following each Mass. We will also be temperature-testing everyone who attends Mass and will have hand sanitiser available.

“To comply with the plan, we can only allow 100 people to attend each Mass and they must register contact details with us.”

The case brings the number of Catholic churches with a confirmed case throughout Greater Sydney to four, including Our Lady of Lebanon Co-Cathedral in Harris Park, St Brendan’s church in Bankstown and Our Lady of Mt Carmel church in Mt Prichard.

A number of Catholic schools have also been affected, with Freeman Catholic College in Bonnyrigg Heights and Mary Immaculate Catholic Primary School in Bossley Park the latest to close on 30 July amid students testing positive for the virus. Both schools are in Sydney’s south west.

The news came as Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk declared Greater Sydney a hotspot.

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