Unvaccinated children who are close contacts allowed stay in school from Monday if they have no Covid-19 symptoms

Primary school children who are unvaccinated and have no symptoms of Covid-19 will be allowed stay in school from Monday if they are close contacts of a confirmed case.

The change is set to come into force despite 90 outbreaks of Covid-19 in schools last week.

Up to now an unvaccinated child had to restrict their movements for at least 10 days and show a clear test before returning to school.

That will now change from Monday and will mean a major reduction in the estimated 1,200 children a day who had to miss school as a result.

Read More

Fully vaccinated children and those who had Covid-19 in previous months were already exempt from restriction of movements unless they had symptoms.

The decision was made by the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) at its meeting last week.

Children with symptoms will still have to self-isolate and have a test.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said today he accepted the recommendations.

From Monday the following will apply:

  • Automatic contact tracing of close contacts in childcare facilities and primary education will be discontinued (not including special education facilities).
  • Testing of asymptomatic close contacts in childcare facilities and primary education will be discontinued (not including special education facilities).
  • Children aged 12 years or under, who are identified as close contacts in childcare, educational settings, special education settings or other non-household settings and who are asymptomatic will no longer be required to restrict their movements, unless indicated by the local public health team.
  • Children aged 12 years or under who are identified as household close contacts in household settings will still be required to restrict their movements and get tested, regardless of symptomatic status.

Public health advice remains that any child aged 12 years or under who displays symptoms consistent with Covid-19 should rapidly self-isolate and not attend school or to socialise until 48 hours after they are symptom free.

Mr Donnelly said: “Throughout the pandemic, we have done our utmost to protect our school communities from the serious risks posed by Covid-19. The latest data indicates that schools continue to be a low-risk environment for transmission of Covid-19. As such, I am happy to be in a position today to announce these significant updates to contact tracing in our school environments.

“If you have any concerns or notice symptoms in members of your family, the public health advice remains to self-isolate and arrange a test as soon as possible. You should not attend school, or work or socialise.”

Public health doctors believe that the Covid-19 situation in schools has now stabilised.

Parents and teachers are due to receive clearer information later this week as guidelines from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) are drawn up.

Exceptions are expected in cases where children may be particularly vulnerable to infection due to health issues.

Earlier today it emerged the number of Covid-19 outbreaks in schools more than doubled last week, striking 90 schools.

They led to 412 linked pupils and staff being infected.

Among the outbreaks 78 were primary schools, 11 in post-primary schools and one in a special education, according to the latest report from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre.

The report said there were nine outbreaks reported in childcare facilities with 33 confirmed linked cases.

One new university/college related outbreak was reported with seven confirmed linked cases.

Overall there were 198 outbreaks in different settings.

The report highlighted four new nursing home outbreaks.

However primary school teachers have objected to the changes around contact tracing from next Monday.

The INTO said the changes should be deferred “until reliable data on outbreaks in primary schools is available”.

The union said that its representatives had a “tense” weekly meeting with the Department of Education and public health advisors and told them that any change to risk assessments, contact tracing and restriction of movement protocols must be phased in and based on “complete data on mass testing in schools”.

“Media reports that contact tracing of asymptomatic pupils identified as close contacts will be abandoned next Monday could cause mass confusion for school principals, staff, parents and children, the union believes,” the union said in a statement this afternoon.

“The INTO is particularly concerned, given that it was acknowledged by the Department of Education today that there was a deficiency in the data obtained from mass testing in primary schools but were still proceeding to change Covid protection measures.”

“The union has identified a disparity between the official HSE figures which show over 4,000 children (aged 5 – 12) contracting Covid in the last fortnight, compared with the much smaller number identified in weekly school testing reports issued by the HSPC since schools reopened.

“The HSE reported yesterday that between September 6 and 19 there were 4,170 positive cases in 5 to 12-year-olds, yet the data provided by the HPSC covering August 29 to September 18 shows Covid detected in only 741 children after mass testing in 788 primary schools. However, two weeks ago, the HSE reported outbreaks in more than 800 primary schools.”

The INTO said any changes should be made after the October mid-term break when schools return on November 1.

Meanwhile Dr John Cuddihy, national clinical director of health protection, said if there are are particular outbreaks of concern in childcare, educational facilities or any other social or sporting settings, children may be still designated and managed as close contacts by public health doctors, who will carry out a risk assessment.

He said it was important to note that all infection, prevention, control and mitigation measures, as currently recommended for childcare facilities, schools and sporting and social groups remain in place.

Dr Abigail Collins, national public health clinical lead for child health, said today: “This change is being implemented because of the wide-spread uptake of Covid-19 vaccination in Ireland among those aged 12 years and older.

“Although precautions to prevent introduction and spread of the virus are still required, vaccines have proven to reduce the spread of Covid-19 and reduce the risk of severe disease and or hospitalisation.

“We are extremely conscious of the impact that periods of absence from school have on children’s educational, social and emotional well-being. This change will mean that children will now not be automatically required to restrict their movements if they are a close contact of a case of Covid-19 in any setting other than a household, once they do not have any symptoms.

“It is a positive change for children, while still enabling rapid access to testing for children who require it clinically. Public Health teams will continue to provide support to schools should it be required and testing will remain available more broadly to children should it be required on public health or clinical grounds or following a public health risk assessment”.

This article was amended on Wednesday, September 22, 2021.

Get ahead of the day with the morning headlines at 7.30am and Fionnán Sheahan’s exclusive take on the day’s news every afternoon, with our free daily newsletter.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Dembele hits stoppage-time winner for Posh

Siriki Dembele hit a stoppage-time winner for Peterborough to complete a comeback 2-1 victory against promotion-chasing QPR. Dembele took a pass from Sammie Szmodics and raced clear down the right ... Read more »

Could banks ban cryptocurrencies in the west? Why countries could REFUSE to follow China

China’s extensively regulated economy, governed by the People’s Bank of China, has clamped down on cryptocurrencies several times in 2021, especially Bitcoin. The bank levelled a new threat in tandem ... Read more »

Luton edge past struggling Hull

Luton climbed into the Championship play-off places and heaped more pressure on Hull boss Grant McCann with a hard-fought 1-0 win at Kenilworth Road. Elijah Adebayo scored the only goal ... Read more »

20 million in Delhi now have taken at least one Covid-19 shot

© Provided by Hindustan Times New Delhi, India – October 21, 2021: A health worker administers the Covid-19 Vaccination to the Beneficiaries as India crosses the mark of 100 crore ... Read more »

Eskom to implement stage 2 loadshedding from 9pm tonight till Monday morning

© Provided by 702 Eskom will implement stage 2 loadshedding from 9pm on Saturday until 5am on Monday. The power utility said this was due to a shortage of generation ... Read more »

Halyna Hutchins' Husband Speaks Out After Her Death: 'Her Legacy Is Too Meaningful To Encapsulate in Words'

© Mat Hayward/Getty Images for AMC Networks Halyna Hutchins’ husband, Matthew, has spoken out following the loss of the cinematographer, after her tragic death on Thursday. Halyna died on the ... Read more »

Holidaymakers will need three jabs if they want to travel next year, says minister

© Bloomberg via Getty Images GettyImages-1230547675.jpg Holidaymakers might need three Covid vaccinations to travel next summer, a minister has revealed. The vaccine passport could evolve meaning Britons will require three ... Read more »

‘Not working for this island!' Jersey fishers slam Brexit deal as French cripple business

Don Thompson,president of the Jersey Fishermen’s Association, spoke to Express.co.uk the fishing licence dispute with France – after the UK rejected a large portion of French applications. While on the ... Read more »

Strictly's John Whaite and Johannes Radebe have 'no attraction' to each other

John Whaite has revealed why he won’t be attracting any Strictly Come Dancing “curse” drama. The Great British Bake Off alum has grown incredibly close to his professional dance partner ... Read more »

'Love him more than my parents', 'Don't make me cry' - Many Everton fans buzz over 'great news'

© Provided by Transfer Tavern Richarlison Everton Many Everton fans have been left buzzing over some comments made by Richarlison. Speaking to the official website of the Goodison Park faithful, ... Read more »

New Yorkers to decide fate of 5 ballot proposals that would amend state constitution

ALBANY, N.Y. — New Yorkers heading to the polls for the general election have the chance to make some big changes, with major ramifications, to the state constitution. © Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS ... Read more »

Anthony Davis, Dwight Howard Downplay Scuffle in Loss to Suns: 'That's My Brother'

© Provided by Sports Illustrated Anthony Davis and Dwight Howard appear to be on good terms despite a heated argument in Friday’s loss to the Suns. View the original article ... Read more »

Cebu Pacific launches priority boarding service

© Cebu Pacific Air website Cebu Pacific launches priority boarding service MANILA, Philippines — Cebu Pacific is rolling out a priority boarding service later this month. In a statement, Cebu ... Read more »

Max Kruse FIFA 22: How to Complete RTTK Objectives

Max Kruse’s FIFA 22 Road to the Knockouts objective card is a solid offering, and players looking for a good all-around center forward will want to take the time to ... Read more »

Hibs player ratings against Aberdeen - how the men in green and white fared at Pittodrie

© Darren McGregor saw red at Pittodrie for Hibs Player ratings scale – 10: One of best performances you’ve seen. 9: Outstanding. 8: Very good. 7: Good. 6: Average. 5: ... Read more »

Eastern dominance meets Western firepower in Worlds 2021 quarterfinal bout between MAD Lions, DWG KIA

© Provided by Dot Esports The undisputed best team from Europe, MAD Lions, had to squeak through the group stage of the 2021 League of Legends World Championship after tense ... Read more »

Man charged with murder of woman found dead in house

© PA Archive POLICE Handcuffs A man has been charged with the murder of a woman found dead in a house in Kettering Pawel Chmielecki, 38, is accused of killing ... Read more »

Power outage temporarily disrupts Oklahoma-Kansas game

A campus-wide power outage at the University of Kansas on Saturday affected the Jayhawks’ game against No. 2 Oklahoma as the scoreboard and lights suddenly went out during the first quarter ... Read more »

Blast occurs at Army checkpoint in Maguindanao

© Wikipedia Guindulungan, Maguindanao map An explosion occurred at an Army checkpoint in Maguindanao on Saturday evening. The incident happened at 6:30 p.m. along the national highway in Barangay Macasampen ... Read more »

Op-Ed: The anguish of unintentional killing — and how Alec Baldwin can learn to cope with it

© (John Minchillo / Associated Press) Alec Baldwin, shown in New York on Sept. 12, said on Twitter on Friday that he had “no words” to convey his “shock and ... Read more »

Floating after Farley: New documentary details Farley Mowat's sailing around Newfoundland

Filmmaker Martine Blue is sharing her experiences on the water following author Farley Mowat’s sailing misadventures in her new documentary series Floating After Farley. The Ontario-born Mowat spent much of the ... Read more »

Indian Women's Football Team Lose to Djurgarden IF in Friendly Match

© Provided by News18 India women’s team went down against Swedish side Djurgarden IF by a slender goal in the second friendly fixture hosted in the Scandinavian country, on Saturday, ... Read more »

Alec Baldwin was handed loaded weapon and told it was 'safe to use', court records show

© Provided by Pinkvilla   According to freshly filed court documents, Alec Baldwin was given a loaded firearm by a member of the film team and informed it was safe ... Read more »

BCCI makes BIG decision, calls back THESE four Indian players in between T20 World Cup

© Provided by Zee News The T20 World Cup 2021 is underway and the Team India is all set to open their campaign against arch-rival against Pakistan on October 24 ... Read more »

Fantasy XI: Shakib Al Hasan and Wanindu Hasaranga should get you plenty of points

Match 15: Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka, Sharjah Fantasy XI: Mushfiqur Rahim, Kusal Perera, Mahmudullah, Avishka Fernando, Pathum Nissanka, Shakib Al Hasan (capt), Wanindu Hasaranga (vice-capt), Dasun Shanaka, Maheesh Theekshana, Mohammad ... Read more »

Trending TV News Today: Shaheer Sheikh-Erica Fernandes starrer Kuch Rang Pyaar Ke Aise Bhi 3 to go off-air, Mayank Arora to play Kairav in Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai and more

© Provided by BollywoodLife.com The day has ended and it is time to take a look at all the important stories from the television industry. From Shaheer Sheikh-Erica Fernandes starrer ... Read more »

Video of Week: Janhvi Kapoor proves she's doting daughter as she asks Boney not to remove mask at airport

© Provided by Pinkvilla Janhvi Kapoor is quite close to her family and she has proved it time and again. The actress, who is active on social media, often share ... Read more »

England launch T20 World Cup campaign with rout of West Indies

England 56 for 4 (Buttler 24*) beat West Indies 55 (Rashid 4-2, Moeen 2-17) by six wickets There was no thriller in the repeat of the 2016 T20 World Cup ... Read more »

Vin Diesel walks Paul Walker's daughter Meadow down the aisle; video tugs at heartstrings worlwide

© Provided by Firstpost Vin Diesel walks Paul Walker’s daughter Meadow down the aisle; video tugs at heartstrings worlwide As a heart-warming gesture, Fast & Furious actor Vin Diesel walked ... Read more »

1 dead, 7 injured in shooting at off-campus party near Georgia university

One person is dead and seven others injured after a shooting at an off-campus party near a Georgia university. The incident occurred early Saturday morning in Fort Valley, near Fort ... Read more »

Erdoğan orders foreign minister to expel ambassadors from 10 Western countries

Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan announced on Saturday that he had called on his foreign minister to banish 10 ambassadors from Western countries, including the United States, after they called for ... Read more »

Director 'gutted' by death of cinematographer in accidental shooting

© Reuters/Erik Meers/uInterview.com Handout photo of director Joel Souza in Manhattan By Lisa Richwine SANTA FE, N.M. (Reuters) – The movie director who was shot and injured in an on-set ... Read more »

Cuban street protester sentenced to 10 years in prison: family and NGO

© YAMIL LAGE This file photo from July 11, 2021 shows an anti-goverment rally in Havana, one of many that rocked Cuba that day A Cuban man who took part ... Read more »

Meghan McCain says she suffered a miscarriage after 'disaster' interview with Seth Meyers

© Provided by Business Insider Meghan McCain released her new audio memoir, “Bad Republican,” on October 21. Lou Rocco/Getty Images Meghan McCain opened up about her 2019 miscarriage in her ... Read more »

Wilson overhead stunner earns Newcastle point at Palace

Callum Wilson’s stunning overhead kick earned Newcastle their first point under new ownership, drawing 1-1 with a wasteful Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. It had been another turbulent week for ... Read more »

'One game too many' — Russell Martin's blunt assessment of Birmingham City loss as Swansea City boss offers Michael Obafemi hope

Russell Martin says his side’s trip to Birmingham City was a game too many for Swansea City following their impressive wins earlier in the week. The Swans went into the ... Read more »

Army jawan held for ‘sharing' classified info with Pak's ISI

© Provided by The Times of India AMRITSAR: A cross-border espionage racket was busted on Saturday with the arrest of a serving Indian Army jawan who was allegedly honey-trapped by ... Read more »

CIDCO to provide water to buildings without OC in Airport Rehabilitation and Resettlement region

© Provided by Hindustan Times CIDCO Bhavan in CBD Belapur. CIDCO has decided to provide water to buildings without Occupation Certificate in Airport Rehabilitation and Resettlement region. (BACHCHAN KUMAR/HT PHOTO) CIDCO ... Read more »

Indian-origin techie, travel blogger killed in shootout between rival Mexican gangs

A California-based Indian-origin woman, who travelled to Mexico to celebrate her birthday, was killed on Wednesday, October 20, in a shootout between two drug-peddling gangs at a restaurant in Mexico’s ... Read more »

Carlos Brathwaite reacts as West Indies record third-lowest score in T20 World Cup history

The West Indies were blown away in the first innings of their T20 World Cup opener against England, as Eoin Morgan’s team ripped through the current T20 world champions by ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic