Sydney prayer retreat confirms link with COVID cluster

A study centre for young women, supported by Catholic order Opus Dei, has confirmed its link with the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in New South Wales.

A COVID-19 cluster broke out this week among students at Tangara School for Girls in Cherrybrook, Sydney.

“We are assisting NSW Health in their endeavours to ascertain whether this may have contributed to the outbreak.” – Eremeran Study Centre

Among the 11 infected students, several recently attended a prayer retreat at Bargo (southwest of Sydney) that was organised by Eremeran Study Centre.

A Tangara spokesman revealed the school had not arranged the retreat and was unaware it was happening.

Based at Sydney suburb Pennant Hills, Eremeran released a statement that did not directly mention Tangara: “Eremeran Hills Study Centre is closed until further notice because we have been informed by NSW Health that individuals who have attended activities organised by Eremeran have tested positive to Covid-19.

“At this stage we can confirm that there was a recent retreat attended by 5 high school girls in year 10 and 11 organised by Eremeran.”

“We are assisting NSW Health in their endeavours to ascertain whether this may have contributed to the outbreak.”

“Our highest priority is with the health and safety of the people who attend activities of Eremeran. We have been in contact with the people affected and we are working closely with NSW Health to assist them in their contact tracing in order to contain the outbreak.”

Eremeran Study Centre is undergoing deep cleaning, and Tangara School for Girls will not re-open until August 24.

Eremeran said it “sought to follow COVID-Safe protocols” and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian reaffirmed the call for all to ensure this occurs.

“Every organisation, every entity needs to abide by the COVID-Safe plans, because otherwise we risk having a surge in numbers [and] new clusters, and no one wants to see that.”

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