‘Anxiety throughout schools’ over Covid, principals say

‘Anxiety throughout schools’ over Covid, principals say

Principals have raised concerns about the increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in young people as schools return after the mid-term break.

Principals have raised concerns about the increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in young people as schools return after the mid-term break.

Colin Daly, vice principal of North Monastery Primary School in Cork City, said it was an “extremely worrying time” as cases continue to rise and that it was “causing anxiety throughout schools”.

He said the way forward was almost the way back in terms of reintroducing contact tracing and public health assessments.

“I’m not sure, as principals and management in schools, if we have the know-how to be able to say a person should or shouldn’t be staying at home. What we’re looking to do is follow guidelines and public health advice,” he said.

Mr Daly said he always found contact tracing to be reassuring. “That’s what I would hope would return and I know the INTO has called for that comeback as well,” he said.

Kinsale Community School principal Fergal McCarthy highlighted the importance of washing hands, observing social distancing, using sanitising stations, and continuing to wear masks appropriately.

Pictured at Kinsale community school Co Cork reviewing the higher level biology paper was principal Fergal McCarthy with Biology students Orlagh O'Regan and Tegan O'Donovan. Picture Denis Boyle
Pictured at Kinsale community school Co Cork reviewing the higher level biology paper was principal Fergal McCarthy with Biology students Orlagh O'Regan and Tegan O'Donovan. Picture Denis Boyle

“What we need to do now is to just underscore that again and make sure that we don’t become complacent,” he said.

The school also temperature checks each student as they arrive using a sensor camera. If a child has a temperature above normal, the school contacts their parent or guardian.

Mr McCarthy said that “the last thing society needs is for us to in any way have to return to closures of any description”.

Coláiste Éamann Rís principal Aaron Wolfe said that, in the worst-case scenario if schools were to close, they would be “very well placed now” to deal with it.

Principal Aaron Wolfe at Colaiste Eamann Ris, Cork (formerly Deerpark CBS). Pic Larry Cummins
Principal Aaron Wolfe at Colaiste Eamann Ris, Cork (formerly Deerpark CBS). Pic Larry Cummins

“We could see it the second time we were in lockdown. The teachers carried on teaching and did the full six classes a day and homework was given. In my school, they really didn’t miss anything. 

"So, if in the worst-case scenario they did close us, we’re in a very good position but kids need the schools because it’s the social aspect of school they missed,” he said.

University College Cork professor in physical and environmental chemistry John Wegner said case numbers amongst primary school age are highest of all age groups. “There has to be transmission happening in schools, regardless of what people in Nphet are saying. 

"We know how infectious Delta is and we really have got to do everything we can to stop the spread of the disease among young people because eventually, that comes back into the community,” he said.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

summersoaplogosml

Called Droid, our next story is about a boy who designs a robot at UCC and chaos ensues. It was written by Margaret Gillies, from the MA in Creative Writing Programme at UCC.

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more