Letter to Parents - HSE Responsibility
While we are working hard to ensure that our school community remains free of Covid-19, we feel it is important that you know what will happen in the event of a confirmed case of Covid-19 within the school.
If there is a confirmed case, a risk assessment will be carried out by the Department ofPublic Health and the school will be advised of what approach to take. The school must take the Department of Public Health Advice only concerning confirmed cases.
Even if a parent informs the school that a student has tested positive, the school must still await contact from Public Health. The school has no authority to take any action that would be independent of the advice issued from the department of Public Health.
The school cannot share information about any individual’s health and must respect confidentiality and Data Protection, meaning that the school cannot and will not comment on any individual case even if the situation is known in the community.
The school will share any information for parents that comes from the Department of Public Health.
Given the rising numbers of confirmed cases nationally, it is unfortunate that there is a chance that a confirmed case may arise in the school over the coming months. However we want to assure parents /guardians that we will follow and act upon the best advice given to us from the Department of Public Health and control the situation as best we can. If this situation does occur in the future, parents may feel they need more information from the school; however, we hope you understand that we are limited in what information we can share as indicated above.
In order to reduce the risk of Covid-19 we all need to take personal responsibility regarding our actions and behaviour. We must all adhere to the guidelines as issued by the Department of Public Health and remind ourselves that we are all in this together.
Covid – 19 has brought many challenges for all of us but we must try and remain calm during these unprecedented times, not easy I know. From time to time students become unwell and school may ask for parents to collect their children. It is important that we avoid panicking if students or even staff go home after feeling unwell.
It is not ok for students to contact home without permission to ask parents to collect them from school. The procedures around collecting students from school remains the same – a member of staff, usually the Year Head, will contact home to collect their son/daughter who is feeling unwell. Parents must report to school where their son/daughter will be brought to them. The school secretary will mark the student as being signed out on our school management system. Parents will no longer be required to sign the signing out book as per previous years but parents MUST present to the school to collect their son/daughter.
Please see below extract from the letter issued to schools from the Department of Education and Skills for your reference:
“The COVID-19 Schools Public Health Pathway has proved effective since schools reopened. The Department of Education and the Health Service Executive (HSE) have worked together to review the current pathway, identify opportunities for improvement and streamline the current process.
It is important to note that:
- • Not all confirmed cases will require Public Health engagement with school - for example if a case was not determined to be in the school during the infectious period, there may be no actions required within the school setting.
- • Departments of Public Health will contact schools where a confirmed case is notified to them that may have implications for the school (e.g. the case was in school during the infectious period and there is a risk of spread in the school setting). This will usually be the same day Departments are notified, but may occasionally be the next day.
- • We kindly ask therefore that you await contact from Departments of Public Health, which will occur rapidly if required, before taking any action.
- • Even if you are aware, e.g. through a parent,of a confirmed case of COVID-19 that has been within the school setting recently, it should be remembered that the confirmed case is no longer within the school setting, and the risk of onward infection from them has been removed. We also understand from the international literature that onward transmission within school settings is unusual, particularly with good implementation of public health recommendations, including hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene and physical distancing.”