Eighteen cases in ‘devastating’ Sydney special education school outbreak

Eighteen positive cases have been confirmed in a coronavirus outbreak that has closed a Sydney school for children and young adults with autism and been described as "absolutely devastating".

New South Wales Health on Thursday revealed three staff members, seven students and eight family members associated with Gladesville's Giant Steps school were infected, less than a week after the first cases were notified on August 5.

"NSW Health is working with the school, which is closed, to support students, their families and staff in isolation," the department said, in a statement.

READ MORE: Queensland childcare worker caught up in low-dose vaccine mix-up


Autism Awareness Australia said the figures were "absolutely devastating news".

"Our thoughts are with the children, staff and families during such a difficult time," the organisation tweeted.

"The Federal Government needs to step up their game, now. These are our most vulnerable and it's simply unacceptable."

The organisation's CEO, Nicole Rogerson, was even harsher in her criticism of the vaccine rollout.

"There will be outrage, finger pointing and anger….but right now I am thinking of the students, their families and the staff," she said, on Twitter.

"The Federal Government has completely stuffed this vaccine roll out and there are some very scared families right now.

"Hoping like hell the numbers don't go higher. Please keep this community in your thoughts."

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