Latest Guidance in Relation to Covid-19 and Contact Tracing in School Settings
Following a meeting on 20th January 2022, the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) advised that the prevailing profile of the disease in Ireland and the available evidence and experience of Omicron internationally allowed for a fundamental change in the management of COVID-19. The NPHET advised that this should entail a transition, in broad terms, from a focus on regulation and population wide restrictions to a focus on public health advice, personal judgement and personal protective behaviours. Specifically, following that meeting, the NPHET advised that there was no longer a continuing public health rationale for the majority of the public health measures that were in place at that time. It therefore advised that a range measures could be removed, with a small number of mandatory requirements remaining in place. This was agreed by Government and implemented on 22nd January 2022.
This has led to some changes in contact tracing and testing for Primary Schools. A summary of this information is as follows.....
Schools are no longer required to inform the parents of children sitting in the same pod/class as a confirmed COVID-19 case. Free antigen testing for children is available. The Antigen Freephone number is: 1800 110055 or parents may order antigen test online via www.hse.ie/schooltest. This is a voluntary antigen testing programme which advises three antigen tests be performed. All children in the pod/class can continue attending school as long as they remain asymptomatic and do not have a positive COVID-19 antigen or PCR test result. Schools should continue to remind all members of the school community of the importance of not attending an educational setting if they have any symptoms of COVID-19, however mild.
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