- 29 May 20
Based on a recent study, the HSE seems to support earlier reopening of schools.
In a recent study on school-related Covid-19 cases, HSE experts have determined that schools in Ireland are not high-risk areas for transmission of the Coronavirus. Published in Eurosurveillance, an infectious disease control journal, the study was looking at cases of Coronavirus transmission in schools prior to their closure on March 12th.
The findings from the study were reported in The Irish Times on May 29, and concluded that there was no confirmed transmission among the 6 cases and the 1, 025 child and adult contacts in primary and secondary schools, and that this was in keeping with the findings from other European countries about the passage of the virus between students as well as between staff and students.
“Given the burden of school closure...reopening of schools should be considered as an early rather than a late measure in the lifting of restrictions,” the study states.
Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tony Holohan has said that Ireland will be looking to the experiences of other European countries in deciding when to reopen schools. "As we move through the various different phases we’ll keep all those measures under review. If we think that either the evidence available to us or the experience that we’re seeing in other countries suggests that we should make a change in relation to one of those then we will do exactly that,” he said in a statement.
At the moment, schools are set for phased reopening in early September, but the HSE seems to be supporting the early reopening of schools.
Minister of Education Joe McHugh has said that if the two-metre social distancing rule is to be kept in place in September, fully reopening schools would require "massive" logistical work to enact safe reopening. He will bring a memo on the logistical issues of reopening to Cabinet today.
He also announced that the deadline for the registration for calculated grades has been extended until midday today (May 29).