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Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 14 December 2021

Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Questions (416)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

416. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Education if funding will be provided for CO2 monitors for a school (details supplied). [61931/21]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The Department’s ventilation guidance for schools is very clear and practical on the steps to be taken by all schools to manage ventilation levels.

Managing ventilation is just one of a suite of public health measures in place to keep our schools safe. Updated guidance for schools on Practical Steps for the Deployment of Good Ventilation Practices in Schools was provided at the end of May following the work of an expert group that carefully considered the role of ventilation in managing COVID-19. A copy of the guidance is published on the Gov.ie website.

The over-arching approach in the guidance is for schools to have windows open as fully as possible when classrooms are not in use and partially open when classrooms are in use.

The guidance outlines that Carbon Dioxide (CO2) monitors can play a part in providing a useful general indication that areas/rooms may not be adequately ventilated. They can enable occupants to become familiar with the impacts of activities, outdoor weather and window openings on levels of good ventilation. The provision of portable CO2 monitors provides schools with the flexibility to focus their use to those rooms where most beneficial to inform strategies for optimising ventilation in the school.

In excess of 35,400 monitors were dispatched in the initial delivery phase. In excess of a further 1,500 have since been dispatched to schools who requested and were approved for additional CO2 monitors.

St Teresa's National School Balbriggan received nine CO2 monitors as part of it's original allocation. To date the Department has not received a request from the school for additional CO2 monitors.

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