Free antigen tests for school children will help to reduce anxiety for parents.
That's according to the deputy president of the Irish Primary Principals’ Network (IPPN), who says she welcomes the move.
The tests will be provided to parents whose child is in a pod with a student who has tested positive for COVID-19.
Children within the pod can continue to go to school, once they do not have symptoms and receive a negative test result.
The Department of Health say the decision to proceed with antigen testing is completely up to parents and guardians.
Parents of school children will also be sent free antigen tests in the post.
Louise Tobin is deputy president of the IPPN and principal of St Joseph's primary school in Tipperary.
She told The Pat Kenny Show they have a system in place.
"We have the messages - the text message - ready to go, the e-mail ready to go, so we're ready to go.
"It is hopefully going to be a help to reduce anxiety; parents were anxious over the past few weeks when they on the grapevine heard that there was a positive case in the class, and they were anxious.
"So at least now we'll be taking a proactive step to reduce the anxiety, and give them the contact to organise to get the antigen test for their child - if they so wish.
"We just have to look at the pods carefully, and identify what children we would include".
How it will work
She says it is mostly done at the pod level in the classroom.
"From today if a parent or guardian gets a positive PCR test for their child, then they contact us... and I would let them know that I would be contacting the parents of the children in the child's pod.
"So it's mostly the pods that we're looking at, but that can depend on the class size, the infrastructure, the pod size.
"And if it's a case in Infants up to 2nd, we would have to have a look at how many children are involved because they all play together.
"But I think it's manageable; it's mostly looking at the pod as opposed to doing any other level of contact tracing in the classroom".
And she says it is all done through text message.
"When we get contact that there is a positive, PCR COVID test for their child - it's then we act on that.
"Then the text message would go out to the children that we identify that were in the pod.
"That would give them the freephone number and they... can ask for the antigen test to be sent out.
"I believe they're going to get five, and they would do a test on their child [on] day one, day three and day five".
Additional reporting: Kacey O'Riordan