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Changes to COVID-19 restrictions in Australian schools revealed - no choir, recorders or prom

Health authorities are reportedly considering halting choirs, the use of woodwind instruments and dances to stem the spread of coronavirus in schools. 

Coronavirus restrictions in New South Wales schools could be changed over fears the virus could spread while singing, dancing and using instruments.

The proposed restrictions, which also includes the suspension of social activities such as formals, dances and graduations, are expected to last for the rest of term three. 

Health authorities are reportedly considering halting choirs, the use of woodwind instruments (pictured) and dances to stem the spread of coronavirus in schools

Coronavirus restrictions in New South Wales schools could be changed over fears the virus could spread while singing (stock pictured), dancing and using instruments

Tangara School for Girls (pictured) at Cherrybrook in Sydney's north-west has been cleared of breaching COVID-19 restrictions

The Sydney Morning Herald reports school guidelines in the state could be changed because of the perceived risk of the coronavirus being disseminated via droplets during singing or playing the recorder, flutes or saxophones. 

The rules also propose suspending all extracurricular social activities but the debate continues over school sport.

Chief Medical Officer Kerry Chant confirmed to reporters this week that NSW Health are working on making amendments to school guidelines.

School choirs and inter-school choral performances are currently allowed but could be put on hold due to the high risk of disease-spreading droplets.

The use of woodwind instruments is also of concern, but not brass instruments.

Activities involving different schools mixing would be limited, especially if events involved more than 100 people.

Events with parents such as graduations, orientation, formals and dances would also be cancelled for the rest of term three. 

The worrying restrictions come as NSW reported nine cases on Saturday, with one case a student from the Tangara School for Girls in Cherrybrook.  

Events with parents such as graduations, orientation, formals and dances would also be cancelled for the rest of term three

A cleaning crew in full PPE enter Tangara Public school to conduct a deep clean

The Catholic school is at the centre of a major coronavirus outbreak and is now linked to 22 cases among staff and students.

On Friday the school was cleared of breaching COVID-19 restrictions.  

New South Wales health brought in police to investigate Tangara School for Girls at Cherrybrook in Sydney's north-west after parents claimed they were ignoring social distancing rules.

A police spokeswoman on Friday confirmed NSW Health had asked officers to investigate but the probe had concluded and the college had been cleared. 

In a statement on their website, the school said the 'misinformation' circulating during the 'challenging and emotional period' needed to be clarified.

In a statement online the school said the 'misinformation' circulating during the 'challenging and emotional period' needed to be clarified

Cleaners enter the school as part of NSW health protocol to disinfect the building after the virus spread on campus

'Today NSW Police deemed that no Public Health Orders have been breached at Tangara,' the statement read.

'We have always followed the advice of NSW Health around COVID-19 and will continue to do so.'

School administration also shared a handwritten letter from a young student urging a quick recovery to those inflicted by the virus.

'Dear big girls, I hope you get better. Thank you for staying home to keep us safe. We are praying for you,' the student wrote.

The probe was initiated after an angry parent spoke to 2GB Radio's Ben Fordham to suggest the school wasn't following health guidelines and was still offering communion along with compulsory mass.

'According to this parent, the school has not been practicing COVID-safe measures,' Fordham said on Thursday.

NSW Labor leader Jodi McKay on Friday upped pressure on government to mandate masks on public transport (Pictured: a cleaner disinfects the hand rails on the NSW light rail in Sydney)

'They say the primary school has been doing weekly choir, they've continued compulsory mass, students are still taking communion by the hand and teachers have been taking it by the tongue.

The outbreak has been linked to a nearby Opus Dei Catholic study centre, Eremeran, which is closed for cleaning after recently hosting five senior schoolgirls.

The school said it plays no role in organising or monitoring attendees at Eremeran which is a third-party provider.

Meanwhile, St Vincent's College in Potts Point became the third independent Catholic school to shut after exposure to the virus, with a student testing positive on Thursday.

It joins Our Lady of Mercy College in Parramatta, which is linked to three cases, and Tangara School for Girls.

Both schools will reopen on August 24.  

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