Pupils sent home as Covid-19 cases are confirmed in two Offaly schools

Justin Kelly

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Justin Kelly

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justin.kelly@iconicnews.ie

Pupils sent home as Covid-19 cases are confirmed in two  Offaly schools

Pupils sent home as Covid-19 cases are confirmed in two Offaly schools

A large Offaly secondary school has confirmed that a small number of students have been told to restrict their movements and not attend school due to a confirmed case of Covid-19.

Sacred Heart School, a secondary school in Tullamore, confirmed it was contacted by the Department of Public Health on Sunday regarding the positive case relating to the 5th year group at the school.

The HSE directed the school in relation to contacting the relevant parents and students and the school told the Offaly Express that "it affected a small number of students." The students are not in school today as they follow public health advice. 

"As a school, we are fully guided by HSE advice and procedures and we have taken all the recommended steps to keep our staff and students safe. Our overall priority in current circumstances is to keep each other safe," Principal Pauline McKenna said.

Parents of students deemed close contacts have been contacted. The letter states: "A public health risk assessment has been undertaken and your child has been identified as a close contact.

"In line with national Public Health contact tracing guidance, your child is advised to restrict movements for 14 days from the last date of exposure to the confirmed case, October 8, and your child will be referred for testing by the HSE."

The HSE arranges for testing of all close contacts of confirmed cases. Depending on the time frame, the HSE will try to arrange for two tests for close contacts.

While restricting movements, the students must not go to school, must not use public transport, must not have visitors to their home and must not go to shops or pharmacies unless it is "absolutely necessary." They are also advised to stay away from older people like grandparents and those with an underlying medical condition.

Siblings of students deemed close contacts to the confirmed case do not need to be excluded from school at present, according to HSE correspondence with parents. 

However, in all scenarios, the HSE advises: "If your child develops symptoms, they should be isolated immediately and you should phone your GP for further advice. Their siblings and all household contacts should start to restrict their movements and not go to school or work.

Meanwhile, in Edenderry, parents have been informed of a second confirmed Covid-19 case among in the school community of Scoil Bhride National School. All close contacts have been contacted with regard to the case.