When Jamie Lee Lobos received an urgent message from her daughters' school saying two fellow students had tested positive to Covid, her heart sank - she felt sick.
The pregnant mother of three collected her daughters from Maitland Christian School at Metford and drove straight to a testing clinic so she and her children could be screened.
NSW Health issued an alert on Thursday morning advising that two students at the school had tested positive for Covid. The message advised the school would close immediately for deep cleaning and contact tracing would start.
The news came as a "high virus load" was detected at Shortland, Merewether and Belmont earlier this week.
School students in Lake Macquarie and on the Central Coast have also tested positive to COVID-19 as the Hunter works to find the source of a "very high viral load" detected in Newcastle sewage.
"We got a message on our school app about 8.30am Thursday - the same time children actually start class,'' Jamie Lee said.
"My girls were already at school and the message said it was urgent."
"I'm 16-weeks pregnant and I immediately worried because this pregnancy is high risk so it has been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster."
"I believe there should have been locked down ages ago - along with the lock down in Sydney."
Jamie Lee said by the time she got to the school most students had been picked up.
"I have to say that the school did a great job," she said.
"The pick-up point was in the car park which was monitored by teachers and other staff who spoke to those collecting children through the passenger window of vehicles and they also provided a car space between each car," she said. "All of the children were provided with face masks and ushered out to their parents or carers."
"I'm really happy with the way things were carried out considering the circumstances."
Jamie Lee tried to go to the Brisbane Street, East Maitland test clinic but by the time she arrived the queue had almost reached Stockland Green Hills and Police were carrying out traffic control. "I ended up going to Maitland Showground," she said.
"We're now going home to self isolate - I have another child at a different school so he will be home isolating as well and I have contacted that school."
Jamie Lee said she hasn't been vaccinated yet because she was researching whether or not any vaccine would effect her unborn child. "I have armed myself with plenty of information now and received medical advice and I will be getting vaccinated sooner rather than later."
In other news:
Do you know you can subscribe to get full access to all Maitland Mercury stories? Subscribing supports us in our local news coverage. To subscribe, click here.