Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Ceisteanna (837)

Paul McAuliffe

Ceist:

837. Deputy Paul McAuliffe asked the Minister for Health the reason teachers are not automatically tested when a student tests positive in a class; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26600/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

There is ongoing consideration given by the Government to policy in relation to the management of Covid-19 in school settings.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has published Guidance for Educational Settings relating to the management of Covid-19 in school settings.  This guidance, which includes protocols relating to the management of close contacts, is available at www.hpsc.ie/a-z/respiratory/coronavirus/novelcoronavirus/guidance/educationguidance/.

In relation to the Deputy's question, the HPSC guidance includes the following:

- A Public Health Risk Assessment should be applied to ascertain the level of exposure and necessary restrictions.

- Children or teachers in the child’s pod in school/childcare facility generally do not need to restrict movements unless the index child tests positive for COVID-19 or unless it is deemed necessary by Public Health Risk Assessment.

The public health risk assessment would take into account testing of close contacts, where applicable.

The Deputy may wish to note that schools must have a Covid-19 Response Plan and a Covid policy in place.  Up-to-date Government advice and resources for schools, parents and students in the context of COVID-19, including advice on Covid-19 planning is published at www.gov.ie/backtoschool.