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Close contact tracing in primary schools to cease from next Monday

Automatic close contact tracing in childcare facilities and primary schools is to be discontinued...
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

16.15 22 Sep 2021


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Close contact tracing in prima...

Close contact tracing in primary schools to cease from next Monday

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

16.15 22 Sep 2021


Share this article


Automatic close contact tracing in childcare facilities and primary schools is to be discontinued from Monday September 27th.

The Health Minister Stephen Donnelly says he has accepted recommendations in relation to contact tracing and testing.

This follows discussions with the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) and the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan.

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However this will not include special education facilities.

Other changes will see the end of testing of asymptomatic close contacts in childcare facilities and primary education.

While children aged 12 or under, who are identified as close contacts and who are asymptomatic in childcare or other non-household settings, will no longer be required to restrict movements - unless indicated by the local public health team.

However, those who are 12 and under and identified as household close contacts in household settings will still need to restrict movements and get tested - regardless of their symptomatic status.

The Department of Health says public health advice remains that any child aged 12 or under who displays symptoms consistent with COVID-19 "should rapidly self-isolate and not attend school or to socialise until 48 hours after they are symptom free."

Minister Donnelly says: "Throughout the pandemic, we have done our utmost to protect our school communities from the serious risks posed by COVID-19.

"The latest data indicates that schools continue to be a low-risk environment for transmission of COVID-19.

"As such, I am happy to be in a position today to announce these significant updates to contact tracing in our school environments."

He adds: "If you have any concerns or notice symptoms in members of your family, the public health advice remains to self-isolate and arrange a test as soon as possible. You should not attend school, or work or socialise."

Latest figures show there were 90 COVID-19 outbreaks in schools last week, with 412 confirmed linked cases.

That compares to 40 the previous week with 191 linked cases.

The figures are contained in the latest report from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC).

Of the 90 outbreaks in school settings last week, 78 were in primary schools and 11 in secondary - with one in special education.

Elsewhere, nine outbreaks were reported in childcare facilities with 33 confirmed linked cases.

Main image: School children during class at a primary school in England. Picture by: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

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Asymptomatic Close Contacts Childcare Facilities Close Contact Tracing Contact Tracing Covid-19 Outbreaks Department Of Health NPHET Primary Schools Stephen Donnelly

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