School encourages students and teachers to don face masks
A Melbourne grammar school is highly recommending its students wear masks when they return to the classroom next week.
Camberwell Grammar School headmaster Paul Hicks sent out a letter to parents on Friday with the advice and encouraged students to change their masks every four hours, parent Amanda told 3AW on Friday morning.
Teachers at the private boys' school would "definitely" be wearing masks, she said. Last month two staff members and a student from the school tested positive to COVID-19.
Year 11 and 12 students across Melbourne, and year 10 students taking a VCE subject, will return to face-to-face learning on Monday, while school holidays will be extended for other students.
People need to wear a mask only if they are sick with COVID-19 symptoms or are looking after someone who may have the virus, according to current State Government advice.
But Australian Medical Association president Dr Tony Bartone said the organisation was recommending masks when using public transport or if physical distancing cannot be guaranteed.
"This is especially the case in those suburbs where we know community transmission is high," Dr Bartone told Sunrise.
"The worsening situation in Melbourne hot spots means everybody must be extra vigilant and extra careful to minimise the risk of spread of the virus."
Dr Bartone said masks could reduce transmission of viruses but were "not a silver bullet, particularly when not worn correctly".
"Isolation, physical distancing and regularly washing your hands is more effective at reducing transmission than masks," he said.
Staff at Royal Melbourne Hospital in Parkville, Austin Hospital in Heidelberg and The Alfred have been told to wear masks at all times.
Western Health has also introduced similar precautions for its Footscray and Sunshine locations.
Workers at the Northern Hospital in Epping have also been instructed to wear face masks at all times, even when not in contact with patients.
Epworth frontline workers have been instructed to wear masks when coming into contact with the public.
Victoria recorded 165 new virus cases on Thursday, with the state's total number of cases growing past 3000.
Thirty of the new cases were linked to outbreaks and 135 are under investigation.
Originally published as Melbourne school encourages face masks