HSE Chief warns that mixing at school gates provides "higher risk" than classroom setting 9 months ago

HSE Chief warns that mixing at school gates provides "higher risk" than classroom setting

"That's actually the real risk."

Mixing at school gates and sharing transport to school causes a higher risk of transmission of Covid-19 than children congregating in a classroom setting, according to the Chief Executive of the HSE.

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It was announced earlier in the week that schools across the country are due to reopen from 1 March, on a limited basis at first.

Initially, schools will just reopen for Leaving Cert students and the youngest primary school children, while the return of more students will be facilitated at later dates as the situation is monitored.

Fifth years are expected to return next, alongside older primary school students.

Speaking on Friday morning about the risk of transmission of Covid-19 in schools, HSE Chief Paul Reid said that people need to be particularly careful at the school gates, both before and after school, where kids are most likely to "mix".

Speaking on Morning Ireland, Reid said: "We have our plans in place to do mass testing wherever positive cases emerge, in any location or any schools setting that it happens in. For a rapid turnaround of those results.

"It's proven that the risk is not specifically as the children are in school. Particularly with this variant, it's the mixing at the school gate, and sharing transport that are higher risk."

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Reid also said on Friday morning that he would like to see a reduction of restrictions in nursing homes, where vaccines have been rolled out to nursing home residents across the country.