Mary Lou McDonald reveals her children attend same school where first Irish coronavirus case confirmed 4 weeks ago

Mary Lou McDonald reveals her children attend same school where first Irish coronavirus case confirmed

Two Sinn Féin public rallies in Cavan and Galway this week have been postponed.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has confirmed that two planned Sinn Féin public rallies for this week will be postponed.

In a video post on Twitter on Monday, McDonald said that she has had to reorganise her schedule as her children attend the school attended by a male student with the first confirmed case of Covid-19 in Ireland and will have to remain at home for the next 14 days.

McDonald said that it is a “worrying time” for parents and staff at the school, particularly for the family of the student affected, to whom she wished a speedy recovery.

As a result of having to reorganise her schedule, McDonald confirmed that planned public rallies in Cavan and Galway this week – three public rallies took place in Cork, Dublin and Newry last week – would be postponed, but that new dates would be set for both rallies “very, very soon”.

On Sunday, the National Public Health Emergency Team confirmed that the school attended by the male student with the confirmed Covid-19 case, in the east of the country, had been identified and that the principal, staff, and parents of pupils of the school had been notified.

The Department of Health said it would not be releasing the name of the school to protect the affected student, his family and his community.

Following risk assessment, all pupils and teachers are being treated as close contacts of the confirmed case and the school will close for 14 days, the duration of the incubation period.

All pupils and teachers are being asked to restrict their movements until the end of the incubation period and will receive guidance on the meaning of ‘restricted movements’.

Public health doctors will actively follow up with all students and teachers on a daily basis over the coming 14 days.

Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer with the Department of Health, said:

“Contact tracing has assessed that close contacts of this patient includes pupils and teachers of a secondary school. Public health doctors are in direct contact with pupils, their parents and the staff involved.

"Patient confidentiality in this case, and in all cases, should be respected. The Department of Health will provide updated information as necessary.”

The general public is advised to follow advice from the HSE and the Health Protection Surveillance Centre to protect their health.

Advice issued by the Department of Health on the coronavirus is available here.