Strict adherence to Covid-19 protocols must continue in all schools going forward (File Photo)
Schools fully reopened across Kilkenny today as part of the latest phase of the Government’s nationwide reopening of schools strategy.
The decision to reopen schools was made following the advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).
NPHET member and Maynooth University President Philip Nolan has been examining the data over recent months and notes that schools remain a “low-risk environment” for Covid-19 incidence.
“We have looked carefully at incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in children in recent weeks for any impact of the phased return to the classroom. The data, and thorough public health investigation, confirm that schools remain a low-risk environment," Prof Nolan notes.
“The decrease in the number of cases detected during the Easter break is more likely to be due to an immediate drop in the number of referrals of children for testing, as the level of concern (and vigilance) decreases when schools are closed.”
CBS Secondary School Kilkenny Principal Tom Clarke welcomed the reopening of the city centre school when speaking to Kilkenny People earlier today.
“We are delighted to be back now and are well-prepared, ensuring that all protocols are followed, that our students are aware of the guidelines and that we are all looking after each other,” he said.
“Thankfully, we have maintained an excellent record up to this point and are committed to continuing that record in the interests of facilitating education for all students.”
The reopening of schools was also welcomed in earnest by local Fianna Fáil councillor Peter ‘Chap’ Cleere.
In a lighthearted video uploaded to Fianna Fáil’s official Twitter feed, Chap welcomed the move to reopen schools alongside his daughters.
Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) President Martin Marjoram emphasises the importance of vigilance in limiting transmission going forward.
“Ongoing vigilance is required and the suppression of the virus in our communities,” he states.
“In this context, any member of the school community - staff or student - who has symptoms of Covid-19 or is a close contact of a confirmed case must stay at home.
“This is vital to maintaining both the confidence of the school community and a sustainable reopening of our schools for the remainder of this academic year.”