CM – Antigen test-to-stay approach in schools begins November 29th



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Elementary school students in a pod where another child tested positive for Covid-19 will stay in school unless they have symptoms or a positive test


Katherine Donnelly email

Elementary school students in a classroom where another child tested positive for Covid will stay in school unless they have symptoms or test positive.

It is a « test-to-stay » approach, aimed at students with close contacts and without symptoms, and tries to minimize lost class time.

This is a big difference to the previous test and contact tracking system that students who had close contacts stayed home for 10 days whether or not they had symptoms.

The long-awaited plan for antigen testing in elementary schools is unveiled today and will be announced on the 29th.

It was launched Developed by HSE in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health.

These are not tests in schools, but if a child has a positive PCR test, parents are asked to notify the school principal.

The school principal will notify the parents of other children in the pod, but the child’s personal information will not be shared.

Parents have the option of receiving free antigen tests for their child that they can have home delivered.

You will be asked to test the child three times within five days, two days apart.

If there are two or more cases in an outside of the capsule class within seven days, the entire class will be offered antigen testing Education Minister Norma Foley said.

It is not mandatory for children to take antigen tests, and students who are in a capsule where a child who tests positive can continue to attend school, regardless of whether they have antigen tests attend or not, provided they do not have any symptoms of Covid.

Crucially, public health recommendations vary depending on whether a child is in close contact with the Sc hule or close contact with the household.

Unvaccinated people of any age who come into contact with a case in the household must limit their movements and not go to school or work for 10 days and one on day 0 and day 10 Have a PCR test done.

This is because household environments are considered to be the highest risk for transmission, while schools are considered to be low risk due to the infection prevention and control measures in place.

When the school program is in place Ms. Foley said it was “important that everyone continue to follow all public health advice”.

“In particular, I urge parents to take advantage of the opportunity to notify school principals quickly if a child has a positive outcome a PCR test for Covid-19, « she said.

 » This way, other parents can be given the opportunity to take part in antigen tests. « 


« But I want to stress that the public health message remains – anyone who has respiratory symptoms should self-isolate at home and get a Covid-19 PCR test as soon as possible, » he said .

The Irish National Teachers Organization (INTO), which campaigned for antigen testing, welcomed the move and said they would look at the details

A spokesman said: « For eight months the government has had the Recommendations from a group of experts who had proposed a pilot antigen study in elementary schools were hesitant and not implemented.

“As a union, we have been campaigning for the introduction of Antigen tests. « 

The INTO said it was imperative that the program was adequately resourced and constantly monitored.

 » The infection rates in our schools and in the wider community power is increasing at an alarming rate. Rapid action, clear guidelines and comprehensive support for schools are essential if this measure is to have the necessary impact on our schools, ”said the spokesman Launch awareness campaign aimed at discouraging those who are symptomatic from attending our schools. ”






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