Latest: Principal of school hit by Covid outbreak says the 'situation is constantly evolving'

Latest: Principal of school hit by Covid outbreak says the 'situation is constantly evolving'

In an email sent to parents late last night, the situation was described as 'a serious outbreak'. 

Latest:

THE principal of a Cork school hit by a Covid-19 outbreak says the cyber-attack on the HSE’s IT system has “confounded difficulties” for the school.

Parents of pupils in Scoil Bhride in Rathcormac were told by email last night that the “Covid situation in our school has deteriorated significantly”.

In a statement to The Echo this afternoon, school principal Margaret Howard said the school cannot comment on individual cases or outbreaks to protect the privacy of those affected.

But she said: “The situation is constantly evolving. Undoubtedly, the recent cyber-attack on the HSE IT system has impacted hugely on the accessing and the processing of information and has confounded difficulties.” 

She added: “We will continue to work closely with Public Health HSE South to ensure the safety of our staff, pupils and the wider Rathcormac community going forward. A public health risk assessment has been carried out, with close contacts being identified and advised accordingly by HSE.” 

She said the school remains open today.

She continued: “The Board of Management is monitoring the situation closely and will continue to liaise with Public Health. This is a difficult time for all of us and we want to thank families for their ongoing patience and understanding at this challenging time.” 

Last night’s correspondence to parents said: "We now have cases at every class level and among school staff," parents were told. "We have yet to be notified of the results from many of the Covid-19 tests that were administered over the last few days."

The email said advice was sought on whether to close the school but 'Public Health did not deem it necessary at this time'.

However, the email warned parents that 'for health and safety reasons, the Board of Management of Scoil Bhríde may have to take the decision in the coming days to advise parents not to send their children to school'.

Earlier: Parents of pupils in Scoil Bhride in Rathcormac have been told that the 'Covid situation in our school has deteriorated significantly'. 

As revealed in The Echo , the community was alerted to an outbreak last week, with a number of children sent home as a precautionary measure.

The primary school said that the Department of Public Health HSE-South was monitoring the situation closely and the local GAA club, Bride Rovers Juvenile Club, decided to stand down all activities for age groups up to and including U12 grade.

In an email sent to parents late last night, the situation was described as 'a serious outbreak'. 

"We now have cases at every class level and among school staff," parents were told. "We have yet to be notified of the results from many of the Covid-19 tests that were administered over the last few days."

The cyber attack on the HSE’s IT system has resulted in a delay in processing and accessing information so the school do not have a full picture of how many Covid cases they have in total. 

Parents were told this is impacting upon contact tracing and further exacerbates an already slow process.

The email said advice was sought on whether to close the school but 'Public Health did not deem it necessary at this time'.

However, the email warned parents that 'for health and safety reasons, the Board of Management of Scoil Bhríde may have to take the decision in the coming days to advise parents not to send their children to school'.

It also said 'the response to confirmed cases or outbreaks of Covid-19 in the community or in a school is the responsibility of, and will be led and managed by, Public Health HSE'. 

"All decisions as to appropriate actions following a confirmed case or outbreak will be made by their teams in the context of a full Public Health Risk Assessment procedure," the email stated. 

The school said it would provide learning activities online for any children who remain as home 

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