Covid-19: Return to School Updates Sept 2021
We would like to remind all parents and staff to keep an eye on their health and to check for symptoms of COVID-19. Symptoms of Covid-19 can include some or all of the following -fever (temperature of 38◦C or higher), cough, shortness of breath, any loss or change to the senses of smell or taste, headache, sore throat, or a runny nose. If any pupil or member of staff develops these symptoms they must self-isolate and contact their GP for advice regarding a COVID-19 test.
Even with high population uptake of COVID-19 vaccination, it is important that the school continue to support all pupils and staff of our school community during the COVID-19 pandemic in the effective manner we have been. It is important to reinforce to everyone in our school community that all public health guidelines still need to be followed to protect the health of pupils and staff- these include:
· Wearing face coverings
· Cleaning hands regularly
· Maintaining physical distance from others
· Being mindful of the ventilation of classrooms by opening windows and doors as appropriate
We encourage all those who are eligible for vaccination within our school community to access appropriate information around this (available at https://www2.hse.ie/screening-and-vaccinations/covid-19-vaccine/). For those wishing to arrange vaccination, they can do so at either:
a. Register using the HSE Vaccine portal (https://vaccine.hse.ie/#register)
b. OR phone the HSE at 1800 700 700
What is the advice for close contacts who are fully-vaccinated against COVID-19?
Close contacts who are fully-vaccinated against COVID-19 are required to restrict their movements until they receive a call from the HSE Contact Management Programme. During this call, a review of each close contact’s vaccination (dates and type) and medical history will determine whether the vaccine is likely to provide “significant immunity” for them. The close contact will then be advised whether they can return to school or whether they need to continue to restrict movements.
When is a person considered to be fully-vaccinated?
· 7 days after receipt of the second Pfizer-BioNTech dose (two dose vaccination course)
· 15 days after receipt of the second AstraZeneca dose (two dose vaccination course)
What is the advice for close contacts who are not fully-vaccinated against COVID-19?
· Close contacts who are not fully-vaccinated will need to go for two PCR tests for COVID-19, one as soon as possible and one on Day 10 after their last exposure to the COVID-19 case. · They will need to restrict their movements (stay at home) until the Day 10 test has been done. This includes not attending work or school.
· If the Day 10 test result is “not detected” or negative, the pupil or staff member can return to school provided they do not have symptoms of COVID-19.
What about the families of those who are close contacts?
Other people who live at home with the close contact do not need to restrict their movements, provided the close contact has no Covid symptoms. This means they can continue to attend school. If the close contact tests positive for COVID-19, the household will then need to restrict their movements.
What if a close contact declines the COVID-19 test?
Testing is not mandatory. But if a close contact does not have a Day 10 test done, this means they need to continue to restrict their movements for 14 days after their last contact with the person with COVID-19.
More information Up to date information and advice on COVID-19 is available on hse.ie.
We thank you for your help and support as we continue to live with COVID-19.