Substantial outbreak of Covid-19 closes Glanmire primary school until December 8; 17 cases reported

Substantial outbreak of Covid-19 closes Glanmire primary school until December 8; 17 cases reported

Seventeen cases have been identified in a number of different classes, according to the letter from the Health Service Executive.

A substantial outbreak of Covid-19 is being investigated by the HSE at Gaelscoil Uí Drisceoil, Glanmire
in Cork.

The Echo has seen a letter circulated to parents which states the primary school has closed its doors until Tuesday, December 8.

Seventeen cases have been identified in a number of different classes, according to the letter from the Health Service Executive.

“In the Irish experience, it is unusual to see an outbreak of this scale among a school population,” it states.

The letter said the school management had implemented and continues to implement, appropriate Covid-19 control measures and were cooperating completely with the public health investigation.

“Cases and close contacts identified to date have been given advice with regard to isolation or restricting movements (and the associated time periods of either 10 or 14 days), respectively."

Given the high number of cases, the decision has been made to test the rest of the school population, both children and staff and all children are now advised to restrict movements until Tuesday, December 8.

All children not identified as a case or close contact will be referred for two tests, a number of days apart.

In a statement issued to The Echo, a HSE spokesperson said:

"The HSE can confirm that parents of children at a school in the South of the country have been advised that their children should not attend the school until December 8th due to an outbreak of Covid-19.

"This is a precautionary measure while the clinical public health risk assessment continues to be undertaken by the Department of Public Health medical service (HSE South).

"The Department of Public Health (HSE South) is in close contact with the school principal to assess the situation and to provide advice and support to parents, teachers and students. A decision, based on the information provided to date, was taken to test all pupils and staff. All pupils and staff will have to restrict their movements until December 8th, which means they cannot attend school or any group activities, use public transport, visit other homes or have visitors to their home.

"We thank the staff, pupils and families for their co-operation with this measure, which will ensure the safety of students, staff and the wider community.

"The HSE would like [to] acknowledge all the work undertaken by the school to operate in a Covid-19 safe manner and thanks the principal and staff for their cooperation and support to assist us with the on-going public health risk assessment. We'd like to reassure both the school community and the wider community that the Department of Public Health locally, supported by national colleagues, are working closely with the school to ensure the outbreak is investigated and controlled."

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