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Maria King Presentation Primary School, Limerick, Ireland

Notices

Letter to Parents September 2021

Dear parents and guardians

I hope everyone is settling back into school after the Summer break. A few things have been brought to my attention that I want to update you on.

Parents have been discussing Covid-19 cases on social media and messaging apps.  As a result, we are being contacted by parents looking for the name of the child and other details.  The school staff will not engage with these requests or any requests in relation to breaking GDPR in the school.

Parents have also contacted us in relation to other parents bringing sick children to school.  Children and adults are infectious with Covid-19 for 2 days before they have symptoms.  If they have no symptoms and go for a test they are infectious the day before.  This is under current public health that I receive through the HSE.  Children may not be sick in school and kept out by parents when they are sick but they would have been infectious without the parents, school or anyone else knowing and would have been in school seemingly well to all.  This is why it so important for all of us in the school community to continue to maintain current public health advice.

I had a discussion with the medical team yesterday in public health Limerick and PCR testing is currently the only testing acceptable for returning to school.  Children who are close contacts of a confirmed case should attend for Day 0 and Day 10 PCR testing and only return if the Day 10 test has not detected Covid-19.  If your child does not attend for Day 10 testing then they must continue to restrict movements until 14 days after their last contact with the confirmed case.  Testing is arranged through the HSE and the school has no control over the testing appointments, time or phone calls from contact tracers.  I spoke with the school inspector yesterday and ALL close contacts are currently required to restrict their movements until they are contacted by someone from the HSE Contact Management Team who will verify if they should attend for testing and continue to restrict movements or not. This applies to children and indeed staff who may have had Covid-19 in the previous 9 months and also any children or staff who are vaccinated. Due to GDPR I am not allowed to have any such information, only medical staff within the HSE are allowed to access this.

My current conversations with public health are deeming the pod in the room close contacts only but if there is a case in your child's classroom and they are not a close contact please be vigilant of any sickness.  Pupils who are close contacts and currently restricting movements will continue with home learning.  You will be contacted directly by the school.

This advice may be updated at any stage by the Department of Health or the Department of Education and you will be informed of any updates we need to make in our Covid-19 Plan for the safe and sustainable operation of Primary and Special Schools in relation to testing or close contacts.

We would ask parents to keep up to date with the common and less common symptoms of Covid-19 and current symptoms can be found at the following link https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/covid19/symptoms/overview/

Thank you for your support and understanding in relation to this.

Kind regards

Ms. Meskell

Acting Principal