3 Kildare schools, in Naas, Celbridge and Ardclough, are contending with Covid 19.
Scoil na Mainistreach, Celbridge, has closed due to a cluster
Naas Community College has a confirmed case but "No risk of exposure was identified."
Ardclough NS was told to instruct students in the class of a child whose sibling has Covid 19 to self-isolate.
Clem Ryan was joined on Kildare Today by parent of an Ardclough NS student, Anne, Co-Leader of the Social Democrats, Catherine Murphy, and Kfm's Eoin Beatty.
Naas Community College sent this email to parents, yesterday:
The Public Heath doctor confirmed a case of coronavirus in our school community in the last few minutes.
Following detailed assessment of movement and contacts , they said that "No risk of exposure was identified." This means that they do NOT recommend any school closure or student restriction at this time. They indicated that there would need to be at least two or more confirmed cases in the one class for any restrictions to apply.
They also advised us that parents should monitor their children closely for symptoms of Covid 19 and interact with GP's to organise testing if symptoms become apparent.
It is extremely important that any symptoms be taken seriously and that no child should attend school if they are displaying any symptoms.
It is also very important that you inform the school if your child is going for a test or if a case is confirmed positive. This information will help inform decisions going forward.
We will be maintaining extremely close contact with Public Health from now on and will immediately advise of any change to the above information.
We would like to express our thanks for the cooperation and communication that has come from all families over the last two weeks.
Obviously, this is the kind of news that none of us want to hear, but the Public Health doctors were very clear in their assessment that there was no risk of exposure in this case.
We will be in touch again very soon
Naas Community College
The Irish Examiner reports, of Scoil na Mainistreach, in a letter to the school’s principal, Public Health Specialist Ruth McDermot said: “Further cases of Covid-19 have been identified following testing by Public Health. “We recommend that the school should close while the investigation is ongoing.”
Up-date: Scoil na Mainstreach has issued this statement to Kfm, at 10.16am on September 18th: "We can confirm that we have had cases in Scoil Na Mainistreach, Celbridge. We cannot comment on any individual cases or outbreaks to protect the privacy and confidentiality of those involved. We are working very closely with the HSE who have carried out a Public Health Risk Assessment in the school. All close contacts have been notified by the HSE and we are following all directives issued by them. "
Statement from Ardclough National School, issued at 10.47am on September 18th:
"Once a positive case was identified in the school community, it became a matter for the HSE.
The decision around who should be excluded from school, and tested, was made after a Public Health Risk Assessment, conducted by the HSE. Children in one class remain at home for 14 days following this advice, as well as pods in two other classes.
The school is obliged to follow the advice of the HSE as outlined to us from Department of Education circulars and documents. ( see letter to schools from DES August 27th ' The response to confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the community or school is the responsibility of and will be led and managed by Public Health HSE. All decisions as to the appropriate actions following a confirmed case or outbreak will be made by their teams in the context of a full public health risk assessment procedure…Any actions to be taken by the school will be communicated directly by Public Health HSE).'
The school continues to support the children's education through online learning during this time.
The school does not wish to comment any further on the matter.
We wish all our families well and we continue to work to ensure the safety of all the children in our care.
Mary Manley Principal St Anne's NS Ardclough"
Kildare North Fianna Fáil TD, James Lawless, speaking to Kfm News this morning, says he has been in touch with the Education Minister regarding all three schools. Norma Foley has told him that she is satisfied that all protocols are being followed in all three schools.
File image: RollingNews