News in 5: COVID-19 shuts Sydney high school, new coronavirus cruise ship, Warren drops out.

1. Sydney high school shut after 16yo student tests positive for coronavirus.

A Sydney public school will be closed on Friday after a Year 11 student tested positive for COVID-19.

Approximately 1100 students will be impacted by the closure of Epping Boys High School which is to allow the school and health officials to “work through a contact and containment strategy,” according to a statement from NSW Health.

Students and staff have been advised to self-isolate at home over the weekend.

On Facebook, the school said staff and students will be contacted and advised if they can resume school on Monday or if a further quarantine period will be required.

The 16-year-old student brings the total confirmed number of coronavirus cases in NSW to 25.

North west Sydney has found itself as the epicentre of the virus within the state.

Seventeen children from Banksia Cottage childcare centre are being tested after visiting residents at Dorothy Henderson Lodge at Macquarie Park, less than three kilometres from Epping Boys, on February 24, before a 50-year-old aged care nurse from the facility tested positive for the virus.

A 95-year-old female resident has since died and two male residents, aged 82 and 70, have been confirmed as infected.

The infected nurse was not present on the day the children visited, and so far there has been no sign of illness among them.

Dorothy Henderson Lodge has banned all visitors and residents have been confined to their rooms, to help prevent further spread.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said it was clear the outbreak had reached a new phase in the state.

“It is fair to say that we do have an evolution happening in the spread of this virus. NSW Health is doing everything they can to try to still contain it, but we do know that containment is… an unlikely outcome.”

Hazzard also said two infected Sydney doctors, from Ryde and Liverpool Hospitals, attended a medical workshop on February 18, alongside 70 other medical professionals.


As 14 days have passed, authorities are hopeful no others from that group were infected.

2. Thousands stranded on cruise ship held off Californian coast for coronavirus testing.

Four Australians are among thousands stranded on board a cruise ship off the coast of California after several passengers and crew displayed coronavirus symptoms.

US officials have ordered the Grand Princess to hold off the California coast until passengers and crew could be tested for COVID-19, after a 71-year-old man from its previous voyage died and at least one other became infected.

A Coast Guard helicopter was expected to deliver test kits to the ship once it reached the waters off San Francisco later in the day.

Princess Cruise Lines said fewer than 100 of about 3500 people on board had been identified for testing.

Four Australians are on the cruise ship, according to the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

“The ship will not come on shore until we appropriately assess the passengers,” California Governor Gavin Newsom said.

The cruise line said that no cases of the virus had been confirmed among those still on the ship but that 11 passengers and 10 crew members are “symptomatic”.

Some of the passengers remained on board after sailing on the ship’s previous voyage, to the Mexican ports of Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas.

There are 62 passengers on the ship who sailed the previous San Francisco-Mexico voyage and remained on board for its current sailing, and all have been asked to self-isolate in their rooms until they have been cleared.

The ship was returning to San Francisco after visiting Hawaii.

The Grand Princess is run by Princess Cruises, the same company which operates the Diamond Princess, which was docked and quarantined in Japan last month.


3. Elizabeth Warren drops out of US Democratic presidential race.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has dropped out of the US Democratic presidential race.

The exit came days after the onetime front-runner couldn’t win a single Super Tuesday state, not even her own.

Warren has spoken with Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, the leading candidates in the race, according to their campaigns.

She is assessing who would best uphold her agenda, according to another person who requested anonymity to discuss private conversations.

Warren’s exit extinguished hopes that Democrats would get another try at putting a woman up against President Donald Trump.

“I may not be in the race for president in 2020, but this fight – our fight – is not over. And our place in this fight has not ended,” she told supporters.

For much of the past year, Warren’s campaign had all the markers of success – robust poll numbers, impressive fundraising and a sprawling political infrastructure that featured staffers on the ground across the country.

She was squeezed out, though, by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who had an immovable base of voters she needed to advance.

Warren never finished higher than third in the first four states and was routed on Super Tuesday, failing to win any of the 14 states voting and placing an embarrassing third in Massachusetts, behind Biden and Sanders.

Her exit from the race following Senator Amy Klobuchar’s departure leaves the Democratic field with just one female candidate: Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard, who has collected only one delegate toward the nomination.

With AAP.

Feature image: Twitter.

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