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Covid-19 Pandemic

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 4 November 2020

Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Questions (70)

Bríd Smith

Question:

70. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Education the average number of close contacts a positive case of Covid-19 has in a school setting (details supplied). [33996/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre and the HSE have published guidance for managing potential cases of COVID-19 in educational settings, which includes the testing strategy within an educational facility ‘Schools Pathway for COVID-19, the Public Health approach’ https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/a0bff-reopening-our-primary-and-special-schools/

When a positive Covid-19 cases arises that is connected to a school community, either a staff member or a student the HSE Department of Public Health will liaise directly with schools if the case of COVID-19 was in the school during the infectious period. When public health doctors make contact with the school they will proceed to ask several questions and undertake a Public Health Risk Assessment (PHRA).

As of 29 October a total of 611 education facilities (primary, post primary and special education facilities) have undergone mass testing following Public Health Risk Assessment.

The positivity rate of close contacts testing in educational facilities including primary, post-primary and special educational needs facilities is 2.6% with 15,774 close contacts tested. In comparison the positivity of testing for close contacts in the community, is approximately 10%.

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