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A health worker wears a protective suit at the infectious disease clinic in Zagreb, Croatia. Darko Bandic via PA

Schools in Wicklow and Dublin taking precautions after return of students from Italy ski trips

Schools are being constantly updated by the HSE regarding the outbreak.

A SCHOOL IN Bray, Wicklow, has cancelled a parent/teacher meeting tonight as a precaution due to fears about the coronavirus.

A group of students in second year at Presentation College Bray had recently returned from a ski trip in Italy. The school says it has been in contact with the HSE over how to proceed and that anyone who is feeling ill is being advised to seek medical advice. 

A number of ski regions in northern Italy are now on lockdown following the spread of the illness across the area. 

A statement from Presentation College Bray reads: “As many of you are already aware, some of our second years returned from a skiing trip in Italy last Friday.

“Naturally people are concerned as to what consequences this may have with regard to the coronavirus COVID-19. We have been in contact with the HSE and the advice to-date is if you are feeling unwell to contact your doctor for medical advice. 

“We have spoken several times today with the HSE regarding the coronavirus. They are currently in a meeting and we are waiting for them to respond to our particular situation. As a precautionary measure, management have decided to postpone today’s second year parent/teacher meeting until a later date.

“We will inform you when a new date has been arranged. School will now finish today at the normal time of 3.50pm. Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause. As soon as the HSE have advised us how we should proceed and what measures should be taken if any we will let you know.”

Mount Anville

Similarly, parents of children at Mount Anville Secondary School in Goatstown, south Dublin are being asked to be monitor their child’s condition after a group there returned from a ski trip in Italy in the last week. 

Commenting on the precautions and the ongoing response to coronavirus in Ireland a spokesperson for second- and third-level union the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) said:

“We will be guided on this matter by the relevant Government departments, including the Department of Education, and members should follow the most up to date public health advice issued by these departments.

“Clearly, this is a developing situation, and should additional advice or updates on any aspect of the situation be communicated to us by the Department of Education or other departments, we will of course relay this to our members.

“Of course, we would anticipate that schools and colleges will act with due prudence in ensuring the health and safety of everybody concerned.”

Emergency meeting

The HSE’s National Public Health Emergency Team is meeting later this evening “to monitor the situation in Europe and globally, and to advance preparedness plans for Ireland”.

It’s expected a statement will be issued this evening at the conclusion of the meeting. 

To date there have been no confirmed cases of Covid-19 here. 

The Department of Education and Skills has also issued information to schools, preschools and third level institutions on Covid-19.

It has urged students who have been in mainland China within the last 14 days and who are showing symptoms of the virus to stay at home and call their local GP. The department urged parents not to bring their child to hospitals or to their GP at the risk of spreading the virus.

Meanwhile, around 50 pupils and staff at an Antrim grammar school have been sent home as a precaution against coronavirus after returning from an Italian ski holiday.

They were in the Lombardy region in the north of the country but did not visit nine towns affected by the Covid-19 infection and are showing no symptoms.

Cambridge House Grammar school principal Elma Lutton said: “Taking cognisance of advice from the Public Health Agency and following advice from the Education Authority, the pupils and staff on that ski trip have been sent home for 14 days’ self-quarantine.

“This is precautionary, none of them were in those nine towns, none are showing any symptoms.

“They were in the Lombardy region but went through Milan airport.”

With reporting by Conor McCrave

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