“These schools are already closed and these schools will be thoroughly cleaned and there will be a contact search involving staff and students,” said Mikakos.
Monday’s increase is the fourth largest number of new confirmed cases in the state since the start of the pandemic.
Chief Health Administrator Brett Sutton has warned that he expects the numbers to continue to increase in the coming days, but said the start of the school holidays offers a welcome chance to limit transmissions in the community.
“I think it will get worse before it gets better,” said Professor Sutton. “It is a disturbing figure but it is very difficult to make predictions in this space.”
Schools closed for a two-week break on Friday, after reopening for all students on May 26 after several weeks of distance learning.
Professor Sutton said that the start of the vacation was “fortuitous” in trying to contain the spread but urged parents to limit the movements and social interactions of their children.
“I hope all families with children at home keep the message of staying at home in mind,” he said.
Professor Sutton said the students were infected in the home and then brought the virus to school.
“As individual cases, we did not see any transmission in schools at all, but we saw many cases because many children and adolescents were infected.
“And of course, they went to school during the term.”
He said it was possible that Victoria would experience a second wave of COVID-19, with the number of new cases now rivaling the initial epidemic in size.
“No matter what you call it, it’s as big as the first one, it’s like that,” he said.
“We have a significant risk of transmission from all of these newly diagnosed people.”
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Adam Carey is the editor of education. He joined The Age in 2007 and previously covered state policy, transportation, general news, the arts and food.