Back to school Covid-19 advice published by government
Schools will return for the first time in over 5 months this week.
The Department of Education has launched a specific website with advice and resources for parents, students and staff as schools prepare to return this week.
Schools have been shut in the Republic of Ireland since the middle of March, having been shut in Ireland's initial response to the Covid-19 pandemic and not returning prior to the traditional summer break. They are due to open in a staggered manner beginning this week.
Ireland has seen a resurgence of Covid-19 in recent weeks, with a localised lockdown in Kildare, Laois and Offaly lasting a fortnight for the latter two counties, while Kildare remains under restrictions for another two weeks.
Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn was keen to stress that the decision to open schools follows international best practice;
“Evidence from the ECDC and international experience to date suggests that children do not commonly transmit COVID-19 to other children or adults in school settings", he said.
“Internationally, where schools have been reopened, schools have not been a significant driver of community transmission."
Dr Glynn was also keen to emphasise that the actions of the community as a whole will be crucial in keeping schools safe and open;
“We all have a role to play in keeping this virus at low levels – this is key to protecting our education system over the coming weeks.”
Dr. Mary Favier, President of the Irish College of General Practitioners, said at this evening's briefing that there is a natural anxiety around the return to school, and that GPs have been unusually busy in recent weeks dealing with concerned parents.
Dr Favier also said that parents need to "remain vigilant around symptoms and keep their children isolated at home if they are experiencing fever, cough, shortness of breath, flu like symptoms, loss of taste or smell."
Dr Mary Favier on advice for parents when their children return to school - "Any child who has any of the symptoms that might actually suggest Covid ... should stay at home until 48 hours after the symptoms settle" | https://t.co/nE1U19gxBU pic.twitter.com/ztR5YOIwEr
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) August 24, 2020
The government advice about the return to school this week is available here.