A SCHOOL exchange between Holy Trinity Lutheran College in Horsham and sister schools in Hong Kong is at risk due to concerns about the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
Principal Daniel Weller said on Tuesday that the cultural exchange program would continue but he would monitor the situation.
"We have a brief statement coming out this week. Twenty students from Lutheran schools in Hong Kong are due to visit in the third week of February," he said.
"We also have year 11 and year six students expected to travel to Hong Kong for 10 days in March."
Mr Weller said the year 11 students had already had their trip postponed from last year due to the political unrest in Hong Kong.
Wimmera Health Care Group director of clinical services Maree Woodhouse said to date there had been one confirmed case of coronavirus in the state.
"We have not had any suspected cases present to Wimmera Health Care Group," she said.
"We are following the guidelines as set out by the Department of Health and Human Services.
"Our staff in the Emergency Department have been provided information on how to manage anyone who is suspected of having the virus. This is a rapidly evolving situation and we are monitoring the alerts as they are released from the DHHS."
Stawell Regional Health chief executive Kate Pryde said staff had been informed of the precautions and procedures by DHHS and the Victorian Chief Medical Officer.
"Our infection control nurses, UCC nurses and medical staff have recieved all relevant information and we have ensured we have the appropriate protective equipment required," she said. "We receive regular updates to ensure we have the latest information available to us."
Health officials have issued advice about the coronavirus ahead of all students returning this week for the start of the 2020 school year.
The Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer and the World Health Organisation said students would only be expected to stay away if they had a confirmed case of the virus or had been exposed to someone who had it.
In the case a student was confirmed to have the virus or to have been exposed to it they would be required to stay away from school for 14 days.
Some private schools have been telling students who visited China over the holiday period to stay home for at least a fortnight, a message which has been decried by federal education minister Dan Tehan.
"I would say to all schools that they should be following the advice of the health department, that is the clear position of the Australian government," he said.
An outbreak of the coronavirus was detected in Wuhan, China in late December. Chinese state media said on Monday that in China there had been 106 deaths and more than 4500 confirmed cases.
Five cases of the virus have been confirmed in Australia.
DHHS said anyone concerned that someone could have the coronavirus should call 1300 651 160 to discuss further actions.
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox twice weekly from the Wimmera Mail-Times. To make sure you're up-to-date with all the news from across the Wimmera, sign up below.