Procedures will be in place in schools to deal with suspected cases of Covid-19, whether that be a member of staff or a student.
The intial advice from the Department of Education and Skills is that staff or students should not attend school if displaying any of the symptoms of Covid-19.
In the event that a suspected case does arise during the school day, a designated isolation area should be identified within the school building. The designated isolation area should be behind a closed door and away from other staff and pupils.
If a staff member/pupil displays symptoms of Covid-19 while at school the following are the procedures to be implemented:
* if the person with the suspected case is a pupil, the parents/guardians should be contacted immediately
* isolate the person and have a procedure in place to accompany the individual to the designated isolation area via the isolation route, keeping at least 2 metres away from the symptomatic person and also making sure that others maintain a distance of at least 2 metres from the symptomatic person at all times
* the isolation area does not have to be a room but if it is not a room it should be 2 metres away from others in the room
* if it is not possible to maintain a distance of 2 metres a staff member caring for a pupil should wear a face covering or mask. Gloves should not be used as the virus does not pass through skin
* provide a mask for the person presenting with symptoms if one is available. He or she should wear the mask if in a common area with other people or while exiting the premises
* assess whether the individual who is displaying symptoms can immediately be directed to go home/be brought home by parents who will call their doctor and continue self-isolation at home
* facilitate the person presenting with symptoms remaining in isolation if they cannot immediately go home and facilitate them calling their doctor.
The individual should avoid touching people, surfaces and objects.
Advice should be given to the person presenting with symptoms to cover their mouth and nose with the disposable tissue provided when they cough or sneeze and put the tissue in the waste bag provided
* if the person is well enough to go home, arrange for them to be transported home by a family member, as soon as possible and advise them to inform their general practitioner by phone of their symptoms. Public transport of any kind should not be used
* if they are too unwell to go home or advice is required, contact 999 or 112 and inform them that the sick person is a Covid-19 suspected case
* carry out an assessment of the incident which will form part of determining follow-up actions and recovery
* arrange for appropriate cleaning of the isolation area and work areas involved.
HSE to inform
The HSE will inform any staff/parents who have come into close contact with a diagnosed case via the contact tracing process.
The HSE will contact all relevant persons where a diagnosis of Covid-19 is made. The instructions of the HSE should be followed and staff and pupil confidentiality is essential at all times.