A Co Cork primary school which is dealing with a Covid-19 outbreak has warned it may have to close in the coming days .
Scoil Bhríde in Rathcormac said “despite the best efforts of children, parents and staff”, it has been hit by a “serious outbreak of Covid.”
In a letter to parents on Sunday, the principal Margaret Howard said the Covid situation had “deteriorated significantly”.
“We now have cases at every class level and among school staff. 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 principal said the cyberattack on the HSE last week has meant a delay in processing and accessing information. “Therefore, we still do no have a full picture of how many Covid cases we have in total. This impacts on contact tracing and further exacerbates an already slow process.”
The letter said the school had sought advice on whether to close but “public health did not deem it necessary at this time. ”
Ms Howard said this decision may be revisited in the coming days.
“Late this evening the HSE informed us that they are not in a position to contact all close contacts of cases since Friday due to the IT difficulties.”
For health and safety reasons, the board “may have to take the decision in the coming days to advise parents not to send their children to school.”
The school said it was engaging with public health authorities and will monitor the situation closely. The school is also providing online learning activities for children who remain at home.
Ms Howard acknowledged the “toll” the situation was taking on parents and teachers.
“This is a frustrating and anxious time for the whole school community. All decisions being made by the board of management are with the wellbeing and safety of students, staff and families in mind. We thank you for your understanding and continued support.”
In an operational note on service disruption due to the attack, the HSE said contact tracing is still operating but it may take longer than usual.