A gaelscoil in Ballincollig, Cork, says it is aware of 100 confirmed cases of Covid-19 among its 765 students recorded since it returned after the mid-term break.
It comes as primary schools across the country remain under pressure amid the ongoing surge in daily infections.
In a statement, Gabriel Ó Cathasaigh, principal of Gaelscoil Uí Ríordáin, confirmed there have been a number of cases among students in the four weeks since the mid-term break. “As of [Tuesday] the school is aware of about 100 confirmed cases in students spread across 10 classes over the last four weeks.”
The school has informed the parents of students in the affected classes, he said, adding that the total number of cases has to be seen in the context of a school with a student population of 765. There are no confirmed cases of Covid-19 among staff members at the moment.
“The school has been in contact with public health doctors who have said that they will contact the school again if necessary,” he said.
The school has strict public health measures in place, including ventilation of classrooms, carbon monoxide monitors in several classrooms, and a strict handwashing regime for all students.
“Thanks to the co-operation of our students, their parents, and staff, the rate of Covid in the school has remained particularly low until the last four weeks when we have seen cases rise in line with national trends.
“Thankfully, none of the children who contracted Covid-19 were very sick and those who were sick in the early stages are now back in school.”
The current transmission levels of Covid-19 continue to impact schools across the country this week. Many have struggled to source substitute teachers to cover for those who are sick or isolating. Due to infection prevention measures, classes can no longer be split up and sent to others if their teacher is out.
On Tuesday, the Department of Education met with the teacher training colleges to see if students could take on more substitution work to help to ease the pressure. It followe