Almost 12,000 primary and secondary school students are at home from school already this term, restricting their movements, after being identified as close contacts of a confirmed case of Covid-19.
The extent of the disruption already caused by the virus among school pupils emerged yesterday at the Dept of Health briefing, however, Niamh O‘Beirne, head of testing and tracing in the HSE said there is still no evidence of classroom outbreaks.
Children who have tested positive for Covid-19 so early in the new term are likely to have picked it up in the community rather than at school and it will take longer to assess if a pupil got infected with the virus in the classroom.
Ms O’Beirne, said positive cases have been found so far in some 700 primary schools and 500 secondary schools, leading to around 12,000 children being identified as close contacts and having to restrict their movements at home after assessment by public health teams.
She explained that on average, there are 15 close contacts of a confirmed case in a primary school setting while there are three in secondary school.
Children who are close contacts have to restrict their movements for 10 days. If their day 10 test is negative they can return to school.