School leader back in quarantine after leaving early due to error


A PAPERWORK mistake has left a Palmerston school community exposed to a staff member who did not complete sufficient self-quarantine after travelling through Central Victoria and New South Wales.

In a letter sent on Wednesday, Catholic Education NT director Greg O'Mullane informed families of students at Mother Teresa Catholic Primary School that the acting principal had made an error on his paperwork upon returning to the Territory prior to July 17, and had not completed sufficient self-quarantine.

"I write to inform you that Denis Graham, Acting Principal of Mother Teresa Catholic Primary School, will be in self-quarantine until the results of his COVID-19 tests are received," he said.

"Denis visited Central Victoria until 5 July, thereafter travelling to northern New South Wales and Queensland.

"On return, based on the dates submitted, he complied with NT Border Control's request to self-quarantine until 17 July.

"He became aware today that he had erroneously submitted 1 July to NT Border Control on 16 July, and contacted them to confirm the amended date.

"NT Border Control have indicated that he needs to continue to self-quarantine until his COVID-19 results are received.

"The NT Chief Health Officer has received all the information and has indicated that the school can continue normal operations."



A concerned parent first alerted the NT News to rumours of the incident on Tuesday.

The NT News contacted Catholic Education NT the same day and a spokeswoman said:

"The person had not been in a hotspot in the 14 days prior to their arrival in the Northern Territory. They completed all necessary paperwork and were interviewed by police, as were all incoming passengers on arrival, and followed all protocols as issued. The school does have a staff member in self-quarantine."

On July 6, Chief Minister Michael Gunner declared the Greater Melbourne region of Victoria a hotspot, with people from the area who visit the Territory on or beyond July 17 to be forced to go into mandatory, self-funded quarantine.

Two days later, he announced the same restrictions would apply to all Victorians entering the NT.

On July 15, Mr Gunner declared Greater Sydney a hotspot.

In the letter, Mr O'Mullane apologised to the Mother Teresa school community.

"Needless to say, I am extremely disappointed this has occurred and would like to apologise for any worry this may cause you and your families," he said.

"I will keep you informed of any further development."




Originally published as School leader back in quarantine after leaving early due to error