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Praise for parish after confirmed COVID case

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Bishop Anthony Randazzo praised the ‘responsible and quick action’ that protected parishioners and clergy from the virus in Wahroonga’s church.

Broken Bay Bishop Anthony Randazzo has praised a parish for its “responsible and quick” implementation of its COVID safety plan after a worshipper was found to have attended Mass while possibly infectious.

NSW Health assessed the clergy and parishioners who attended the 9.30am Mass at Holy Name church in Wahroonga last Sunday to be at low risk of contracting the virus, due to the COVID safety procedures the parish had in place for worshippers at all of its services.

“These included social distancing, hand sanitising and the wearing of masks,” a statement from the diocese said.

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On 27 August Bishop Anthony Randazzo announced the church would be closed for immediate deep cleaning and as a precautionary measure until further notice.

Anyone who attended the Mass was advised to monitor for symptoms and if symptoms appear, to isolate immediately and get tested for COVID-19.

“The parish is working to advise those present at this service, whose attendance was recorded, of the NSW Health directives, and will continue to follow the NSW Health advice,” the diocese said.

Bishop Anthony Randazzo thanked the clergy and people of Holy Name parish for their “responsible and quick action”. In a post on social media he said it was “another example of a good COVID response plan at work”.

Parish priest of Holy Name and diocesan vicar general Fr David Ranson said that 68 people present at the church for the Sunday 9.30am Mass had been informed of their status as a casual contact.

“This also demonstrates the critical importance of recording all attendees at any Mass,” Fr Ranson said.

“We can’t control the virus which is currently circulating in our wider community, but we can control the way we respond by implementing COVID-safe practices in our places of worship.”

St Gertrude’s Catholic Primary School in Smithfield was also closed for cleaning on 28 August after a student tested positive for COVID-19.

“The safety and wellbeing of all our staff and students is our key priority at all times,” read a Sydney Catholic Schools statement.

“We will continue to work closely with NSW Health to ensure all necessary health advice is adhered to.”

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