#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 14°C Tuesday 22 September 2020
Advertisement

'Our desire is to lift restrictions on Kildare as quickly as possible': HSE pressed on schools and testing at briefing

On schools, the HSE said today “the risks of keeping schools closed now outweigh the risk of Covid for children”.

HSE CEO Paul Reid at today's briefing.
HSE CEO Paul Reid at today's briefing.
Image: Leon Farrell/Rollingnews.ie

THE HSE’S CHIEF Clinical Officer Colm Henry has said that it is the desire of public health authorities to recommend lifting the restrictions placed on Kildare “as quickly as possible”. 

This, however, is dependent on daily data from the county and reducing the case per 100,000 population level there.

Restrictions were placed on Kildare on 8 August in an attempt to curb the rising spread of Covid-19, and these restrictions were extended for another fortnight last week

Henry was one of several senior HSE representatives addressing reporters at a briefing in DCU today. 

HSE CEO Paul Reid said that a second full lockdown is “exactly what we want to avoid” while Henry said that “the risks of keeping schools closed now outweigh the risk of Covid for children”.

On a day when many of the country’s children are returning to school for the first time in almost six months, questions were asked about what happen if an outbreak was detected in a school. 

Consultant Dr Abigail Collins told reporters she’s hopeful “schools won’t have to close…if that is necessary then we will take the appropriate action. I am hopeful it won’t be.

We will identify cases of Covid in children attending school. When someone has tested positive, we will take it forward.

She said: “Our priority is to not have a wide-sweeping initial approach to remove all children… that can be counterproductive.”

She added she hopes the interventions will be “more measured”, while it was emphasised at the briefing that all interventions in schools would be done on a “case-by-case” basis.

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now

Reid, meanwhile, said a report due to be published later today on the impact of Covid-19, showed primary school children had been most affected by the restrictions.

He said that children with additional learning needs and or special needs are disproportionately affected and that anxiety levels for children may increase due to lack of routines and socialisation.

Reid added that 52,000 tests for Covid-19 had been conducted in the past week, with a positivity rate of around 0.18%. Despite that, there were 725 cases reported in the past week which is a slight increase on the previous week. 

Anne O’Connor, chief operations officer with the HSE, meanwhile said that there’s been an increase in older people accessing mental health services, but they’re expecting more younger people to get in touch now that schools are beginning to return. 

With reporting from Cónal Thomas at the HSE briefing in DCU

About the author:

Sean Murray

Read next:

COMMENTS (29)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel