Further information on antigen testing sent to schools

The Department of Education has sent letters to main schools to be distributed to dad and mom, with additional information on the antigen testing programme for pupils, which begins on Monday.

The letter reiterates that crucial method to shield towards any onward unfold of an infection is that if a baby has any signs of Covid-19, together with a brand new cough, shortness of breath, excessive temperature, sore throat, they need to self-isolate at dwelling and a PCR check needs to be booked for them.

It stresses that kids who’ve signs shouldn’t use antigen assessments.

From Monday, dad and mom or guardians are being requested to contact their baby's college principal instantly in the event that they obtain a Covid-19 constructive check consequence for his or her baby.

The principal will then contact the dad and mom of different kids of their baby’s 'pod’, to give them particulars of how they’ll order free antigen assessments for his or her kids utilizing a Freephone quantity. The principal has been requested not to share any private information relating to any baby.

The assessments will probably be finished at dwelling with outcomes coming in quarter-hour.

The letter explains that if only one classroom pod is concerned, solely the kids in that pod will probably be supplied antigen assessments. If there are two pods with separate confirmed circumstances, then dad and mom or guardians of all kids within the class will probably be contacted and supplied with information as to how they’ll request antigen assessments.

Parents or guardians could have to present a baby’s title and residential handle and the college’s roll quantity. Tests will probably be delivered to houses.

A primary check needs to be carried out instantly, with a second two days later, and a 3rd two days after that.

The letter states that "children in the pod of the confirmed Covid-19 case can continue to attend school as long as they have no symptoms and they do not have a positive Covid-19 test result (antigen or PCR)".

"If at any time, your child develops symptoms they should isolate at home and you should book a Covid-19 PCR test for them. Do this even if the antigen test has a negative (not detected) result. If an antigen test is positive, it is important that your child isolates at home and that you book a Covid-19 PCR".

The letter reminds dad and mom that participation in antigen testing is voluntary, and they don’t want to share any information with the college about whether or not they have requested antigen assessments and undertaken damaging assessments.

In an accompanying letter to principals the division says the antigen programme is a further measure to help schools, which, it says, have remained "relatively low risk environments and have not been a driver of transmission of Covid-19 in children".

It says principals don’t want to collect particulars of the variety of kids who do antigen testing and they need to not preserve any data relating to particular person kids's outcomes.

The letter states that SNAs or academics working carefully with kids in a pod or classroom the place there’s a confirmed case or circumstances might also avail of antigen testing by the programme.

It states that this too is voluntary and that workers ought to proceed to attend except they’re symptomatic or obtain a detected consequence within the antigen check.

based mostly on website supplies www.rte.ie

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