Advice for parents if your child is diagnosed with Covid-19.

Talking to children about Covid-19. Click on the links below.

Support for Parents Click on the link below.

COVID-19 Policy Statement

St Mary’s is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all our staff and a safe learning environment for all our pupils. To ensure that, we have developed the following COVID-19 Response Plan. The BOM and all school staff are responsible for the implementation of this plan and a combined effort will help contain the spread of the virus. We will:

  • continue to monitor our COVID-19 response and amend this plan in consultation with our staff
  • provide up to date information to our staff and pupils on the Public Health advice issued by the HSE and
  • display information on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and correct hand-washing techniques
  • agree with staff, a worker representative who is easily identifiable to carry out the role outlined in this plan
  • inform all staff and pupils of essential hygiene and respiratory etiquette and physical distancing requirements
  • adapt the school to facilitate physical distancing as appropriate in line with the guidance and direction of the Department of Education
  • keep a contact log to help with contact tracing
  • ensure staff engage with the induction / familiarisation briefing provided by the Department of Education
  • implement the agreed procedures to be followed in the event of someone showing symptoms of COVID-19 while at school
  • provide instructions for staff and pupils to follow if they develop signs and symptoms of COVID-19 during school time
  • implement cleaning in line with Department of Education advice

All school staff will be consulted on an ongoing basis and feedback is encouraged on any concerns, issues or suggestions.

This can be done through the Lead Worker Representative(s), who will be supported in line with the agreement between the Department and education partners.

Signed: ____Margaret Barry________________                              Date: 13/08/20

Chairperson of Board of Management

School COVID-19 Response Plan

St Mary’s Special School

Old Court


Prepared by Kerri Hollywell – Principal

August 2020

This is a living document and may be reviewed and amended to take into account new guidance.

Staff and pupils they must stay at home if sick or if they have any symptoms of COVID-19

Physical distancing:

  • Increasing separation
  • Decreasing interaction between students themselves, between students and staff and between staff when they are together


A number of documents have been made available to school staff here:

It is expected that all staff would read these documents and familiarise themselves with the expectations of all staff for the duration of this pandemic. Teachers please pay particular attention to the new curriculum guidance.

There will be Induction training available which all staff will be expected to complete before returning to work. This will be highlighted to staff when the Department make it available.


In accordance with the DES advice (ISSUED in June and updated in July and August) on reopening of schools, Staff and pupils are encouraged to keep a minimum of 1M between each other when practical, all activities should be planned to try to accommodate social distancing where practical.

It is not recommended that children attending primary school or preschool/childcare settings wear face-coverings.

It is recommended that teachers and staff in primary schools wear a face-covering when a physical distance of 2 meters from other staff or children cannot be maintained.

Staff are advised to wear a mask when assisting with intimate care needs (this is a rare occurrence), where a suspected case of Covid-19 is identified while the school is in operation, or where staff are particularly vulnerable to infection but are not on the list of those categorised as people in very high risk groups, or may be living with those who are in a high risk category.

In certain situations the use of clear visors should be considered, for example staff interacting with students with hearing difficulties or learning difficulties.

Guidance will be updated from the Department/HAS websites frequently. Visors are provided for all staff and they are requested to wear them at all times where social distancing of 2m cannot be maintained. Visors must be kept in good order and not shared. There is no requirement for masks to be worn whilst teaching as it is noted that masks reduce the communication of younger pupils/pupils with additional needs, they need to see the full face to interpret gestures/words and speech etc. If staff wish to wear a mask a number have been ordered and they will also be available. Please request one or you may wear your own.

This will be reviewed regularly.

Cloth face coverings should not be worn by any of the following groups:

• Primary school or pre-school children

• Any person with difficulty breathing

• Any person who is unconscious or incapacitated

• Any person who is unable to remove the face-covering without assistance

• Any person who has special needs and who may feel upset or very uncomfortable wearing the face covering, for example persons with intellectual or developmental disabilities, mental health conditions, sensory concerns or tactile sensitivity

It is not practical for students to wear masks properly for the duration of a school day. Older students should not be requested to wear a facial covering but those who wish to wear one where physical distancing is difficult to maintain should not be discouraged.

It is essential for those wearing a cloth face covering to understand that the purpose is not to protect themselves but to reduce onward transmission and the benefit is reliant on wearing the covering appropriately.

Wearing a face covering or mask does not negate the need to stay at home if symptomatic. Pupils are not required to wear PPE but should parents request that they do – we will accommodate them in so far as possible.

Contact Log

A contact log will be held for all visitors to the school. All visitors during school times must be arranged directly with the principal and will be for essential reasons only. The principal will ensure these logs are completed.

Visitors outside of school time should be minimised and authorised by the principal – this includes family members of staff. Non-school staff/pupils should only be in the building for very specific, essential and unavoidable reasons.

Lead worker representative

A Lead worker representative and an assistant LWR must be voted in by staff. This is the person who will be the point of contact for any Covid-19 issues in the workplace.


Our cleaners will work additional hours to take on additional cleaning duties and this can be reviewed if needed.

All staff will have access to cleaning products and will be required to maintain cleanliness of their own work area. Under no circumstances should these cleaning materials be removed from the building.

Staff should thoroughly clean and disinfect their work area before and after use each day.


Please spray all hands at all doors going in /out of the building. Please wipe down all surfaces when you leave them.

Sanitiser Dispensers will be installed in all classrooms, at entry and exit points and in communal areas. Please monitor use of them by students. Sanitiser will only work on clean hands so if hands are dirty they will need to be washed first e.g. after coming in from outside.

Shared Spaces

Shower facilities shall not be available for use by staff or pupils due to the increased risk associated with communal shower facilities and areas. This shall be reviewed in line with government guidance. (In case of an unavoidable need to use shower facilities please alert principal).

When using a shared space – (communal toilets, OT room, library, woodwork, cookery, hall, etc) staff and pupils are to use sanitizer on their hands before and after. (We will review this).

Staff are asked to wipe down all surfaces touched before exiting the room and if unprecedented soiling occurs please mark the room with a poster / note on the door as “closed until cleaned” and notify the principal.

A one way system will be put in place in the school building to avoid contact particularly on staircases. This should be followed at all times except in exceptional circumstances e.g. a fire alarm.

Class Organisation/Class Interaction (See also Appendix A – information for class teams)

The school will be divided into 2 or 3 bubbles.

The downstairs classes will form one bubble and upstairs will form another (although this may become 2 bubbles – to be reviewed)

Each class is a pod.

The objective is to limit contact and sharing of facilities between people in different Class Bubbles and pods within those bubbles as far as possible.

The aim of the system within school is that the class grouping mix only with their own class from arrival in school in the morning until departure at the end of the school day. The pods within the bubbles are an extra measure to limit the extent of close contact within the class bubble. To the greatest extent possible pupils and teaching staff should consistently be in the same class bubbles.

All interactions including break times, yard times, supervision and staff absence insofar as is possible will be restricted to the two/three classes within a bubble and staff pairing. In this way contact will be restricted during the day to max 30 pupils and 4 adults in most cases. I

In the event of staff absence/EPV days, there will no longer be class splits. Teachers will be asked to compile and upload 5 days support work and leave in a file in class/onto google classroom/drive. In the event of an absence the sub (or the SNA if a sub can’t be employed) will distribute the set work. It is very likely that absences will be higher next year as a result of the risk of COV 19 and in this case it is likely that a sub may not be available to cover these absences, in this event the use of google classroom, pre-set work and class team supervision is the best and safest way to manage the situation. If a sub-teacher can’t be found the paired class teacher is asked to check in with the class SNA next door on a frequent basis to ensure that all pupils are ok and there are no issues arising. The SNA will be tasked with helping the children access the work and the tasks assigned and the care needs of the pupils.

If both teacher and SNA from a class pod are absent and there are no available substitutes, the Board may have to make the decision to send students home or close the class for Health and Safety reasons. This will only be in exceptional circumstances and home work will be organised for students as far as possible.

In the event of behaviour escalation, staff are asked to work in the paired situation in order to support each other in class management and behaviour support. If a class needs to exit they are asked to exit to their paired class and staff to manage the situation in the first instance within this cohort. If behaviour escalates beyond what can be managed, staff will be asked to call the principal in the first instance.

On Health and Safety grounds staff capacity/designated space limits the school’s ability to supervise pupils who escalate to higher levels of behaviour for extended periods of time. Escalated behaviours for a significant period of time pose a risk to the Health and Safety of pupil/peers and staff. Where this occurs and all the steps in the policy/plan have been followed a combination of school based/blended learning will be put in place to ensure all pupils can access a full curriculum.


Pupils should be encouraged to sit in the same place each day while eating. The Downstairs bubble will use the lunchroom for second break, but class pods should sit together to minimise interaction within the bubble. (if more space is needed we will move the tables to the downstairs hall) We can use the hall upstairs however, children should be seated with their own class pod.

Pupils should have own cups or bottles for drinking.

Classes can choose what time to eat in their own class for morning breaks; no eating snacks in the lunch room/hall in the morning.

Outdoor use

We should be using the outdoors as much as possible going forward. Time outside can be spent supporting children’s wellbeing through exercise and outdoor lessons. If outside and well-spaced, pods from within their bubble can mix.

Our “bubbles” do not mix unless unavoidable, if pupils from different bubbles do mix – document this. If needs be, we can then make appropriate arrangements to avoid recurrence of this.

*Fire procedures* -as this will only be in case of emergency – we will continue to use the current system, however increase the spacing between groups lining up.


We will not invite Charlie in for Wednesday soccer sessions at this time – to be reviewed

Eithne – will work with class pods

Woodwork & Cookery

Woodwork and Home Economics timetables will be adjusted so that the room can be cleaned between groups from different class pods. It would be most efficient for groups from the same class to be taught consecutively, then the room cleaned before the next group from a different class/pod with a 20 minute break.


This is under review.

“Book list” for pupils to bring to school:

In order to minimise sharing of items within a class group – staff please assign as many materials as practical to individual pupils. Label things already in classrooms or ask parents to send in new items and label them – Recommendation from the Department is that many items are not shared, or, they are well cleaned and wiped with sanitizer between use:

Parents will be requested to send in, for example :

Copy books


Colouring Pencils

Glue Stick

Paint brushes

And anything else teachers feel is necessary.

These should be labelled and stored for students at school. They will not be sent home.

Home School Communication

Staff are requested to avoid phone calls unless necessary. The office phone is no longer available to staff. They should use the phone in the downstairs first aid room (previously psychology office). Please sanitise after use. Email will be the ideal way to contact families. The school will be requesting email addresses for parents who have them. Texts can be sent from the school mobile phone, kept in the principal’s office. We should avoid a Home School Communication book if possible to limit the items coming into school daily.

No homework is to be sent home unless via email at the parents request. The first term will be prioritising the wellbeing and reintegration of students to the school, therefore homework will not be required.

Parents should be advised to send just a small packed lunch with pupils daily if they are not availing of Glanmore Lunches. School bags should not be required on the whole and should be avoided where possible. Ideally pupils will have all they need for their school day (apart from food / drink) at school permanently.

Parents will be sent a document asking them to sign to say that they will keep children at home if sick, organise for them to be collected if called by the school as soon as possible and provide an emergency number, email address and follow the revised code of conduct.

School Uniform

We will not be able to loan uniform except in exceptional emergency circumstances. If someone comes to school without their uniform on parents will need to be notified by the class teacher, the student will have to remain out of uniform for the day, but in class as usual. (This will be reviewed and ultimately dealt with in terms of the code of behaviour, however some flexibility will need to be exercised. Our priority is to have the students back in school safely and hygienically)

Monday Meetings

Meetings will be as limited as far as possible in terms of numbers and staff will be asked to maintain a suitable distance between each other in the event that we need to all meet together. We can also use the google hangouts/zoom facility to reduce contact further.

Essential meetings will take place in the downstairs hall using social distancing or outside weather permitting. We will need to meet to review how the return to school is progressing. The time spent together will be kept to a minimum and the room will be ventilated. Bring your own chair (this will be reviewed)

Bus arrival / Departure – Appendix B

Peter will stand outside and direct students in from the transport. One vehicle will unload at a time. Principal will stand inside at the corridor and direct children to their classes via the one way stair system.

All staff will need to be in their classroom to receive students from 9.20. There is no expectation that teaching will start before 9.45 – this time will be social, reintegration, quiet time for students supervised by their class team.

In the evening, staff will need to pack up their class in plenty of time to leave promptly.

The downstairs bubble will leave to load into their taxis at 2.45 via the fire door at the end of the corridor and the upstairs bubble will leave at 2.55 via the front exit.

Staff need to escort their class out to their transport ensuring physical distancing and road safety.

Kerri will be outside to oversee safety. No staff cars to move until all children have left.

Any children who are collected late will need to be kept separate from each other (if not in same bubble)

Specific information regarding transport arrangements in a separate document which will be in Appendix b.

This process will be reviewed within two weeks to ensure that it is working safely and efficiently.

Bus Escorts

Bus escorts are at risk because they face contact and close contact in some cases with many children and staff due to the current methods of pupil dispersal/gathering. In September each class will be walked down to the bus and dropped to the bus by the class team, escorts will then not need to enter the school building.

Bus escorts are requested to wear a full face visor on school transport and may request a mask also if necessary. Pupils are required to sanitise their hands on entry and exit of the school transport. Visors and hand sanitiser will be provided by the BOM for this purpose.

School drop off/collection for parents

Parents and Guardians dropping children off will be asked to use the Pedestrian Gate. They are asked to wait until staff are available to direct the children to a suitable waiting point, parents/guardians are not allowed through the gate. Parents/Guardians are asked to maintain social distancing outside the school gate. They can ring the school to notify the office that they are here in the evening.

School Office

Transparent screens will be in place to section off Peter and Patricia’s desks. Do not approach without their permission.

No children should enter the office.

Photocopying should only be collected by members of staff and should be kept to a minimum. Please sanitise the keypad of the photocopier after use.

Requests from the office should be made by phone where possible or from the window outside. If it is confidential information enter but stay behind the screen.

The staff signing in book will be kept outside the office to minimise contact.


Please ensure that after you use any school phone, it is sanitised.

School Occasions

School Occasions will be planned for in light of on-going Department and Public Health requirements.


Breaktimes will remain the same to ensure the same class pod is in the yard at the same time. Rota’s must be followed correctly. Please ensure that the previous bubble have left the yard before entering. The field can also be used while the weather is good to utilise more space.

Yard equipment should be kept separate between bubbles – more can be purchase if necessary.

( we will continue to review this)


Please observe social distancing in the staffroom. Remember to stand back if someone is using the microwave / hot water / sink etc.

There are a number of tables available to those who want to sit in the staff room, Sit 1 to a table – to the left side of the table. Try to keep 2 M distancing where practical but always at least 1 M. Do not bring any more chairs into the room.

Please use sanitizer on clean washed hands upon entry to the staffroom.

Staff may no longer use the dishwasher, instead please bring all your own cutlery and dishes to school and home again. Feel free to rinse your dishes using the sink.

Feel free to use the Board Room as an overflow or, to eat in your own classroom, HOWEVER – please refrain from eating in or entering other classrooms.  If you use the Boardroom, please keep social distancing rules. You are welcome to take your break in your own car or anywhere else on the school premises – however for fire safety reasons staff are requested not to leave the premises during school times without prior approval from principal.

Plastic chairs will be available near the entrance for staff who wish to sit outside for their break in fine weather.

Fridge space is available for storage of personal items from 8am – 315pm.

Please refrain from storing ANY personal items (including food, food products or drinks) at school overnight. Any personal items in the staffroom after 3.15pm will be disposed of (we can review this as time goes on and we assess what is practical). The fridge will need to be sanitised at 3.15pm daily.

Clean as you go.

After you eat at a table please wipe it and please wipe the edge/back of your chair.

After you use the microwave please wipe the buttons

Please get in the habit to wipe clean everything you touch after you use it

Staff Duties

Staff have a statutory obligation to take reasonable care for their own health and safety and that of their colleagues and other parties. The cooperation and assistance of all staff is essential to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19 and to protect health and safety as far as possible within the school. All staff have a key role to play. In this regard and in order to facilitate a safe return to work, these duties include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Adhere to the School COVID-19 Response Plan and the control measures outlined.
  • Complete the RTW form before they return to work.
  • Must inform the principal if there are any other circumstances relating to COVID19, not included in the form, which may need to be disclosed to facilitate their safe return to the workplace.
  • Must complete COVID-19 Induction Training and any other training required prior to their return to school.
  • Must be aware of, and adhere to, good hygiene and respiratory etiquette practices.
  • Coordinate and work with their colleagues to ensure that physical distancing is maintained.
  • Make themselves aware of the symptoms of COVID-19 and monitor their own wellbeing.
  • Self-isolate at home and contact their GP promptly for further advice if they display any symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Not return to or attend school if they have symptoms of COVID-19 under any circumstances.
  • If they develop any symptoms of COVID-19 whilst within the school facility, they should adhere to the procedure outlined above.
  • Keep informed of the updated advice of the public health authorities and comply with same.

The Department of Education asks that we

  1. encourage walking or cycling to school as much as possible
  2. open additional access points to school to reduce congestion (use all doors)
  3. provide a one way system for entering and exiting the school, where practical –
  4. Staff meetings are to be held remotely or in small groups or in large spaces to facilitate physical distancing
  5. All are asked to regularly remind staff and pupils to maintain physical distancing
  6. It is advised staff are not to shake hands and are to avoid any physical contact at school

Hand washing

Pupils and staff are to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer:

  • before and after eating and preparing food
  • after coughing or sneezing
  • after using the toilet
  • where hands are dirty
  • before and after wearing gloves
  • before and after being on public transport
  • before leaving home
  • when arriving/leaving the school /other sites
  • after touching potentially contaminated surfaces
  • if in contact with someone displaying any COVID-19 symptoms

Covid-19 Symptoms at School

Staff or pupils should not attend school if displaying any symptoms of COVID-19. The following outlines how a school should deal with a suspected case that may arise in a school setting.

See appendix c

Absence Management

The management of a COVID-19 related absence will be managed in line with agreed procedures with the Department of Education. Circular 0049/2020 and any updates.

Employee Assistance and Wellbeing Programme

The Department recognises the need for school staff wellbeing and collective self-care. Support for school staff wellbeing will be provided by Department Support Services including the PDST and CSL, as well as by the HSE’s Health Promotion Team. An Occupational Health Strategy is in place as a supportive resource for staff in schools. The aim of the Occupational Health Strategy is to promote the health and wellbeing of employees in the workplace, with a strong focus on prevention. The Occupational Health Strategy comprises the Employee Assistance Service and the Occupational Health Service. The Employee Assistance Service (EAS) is provided by Spectrum.Life under the logo of ‘Wellbeing Together: Folláinne Le Chéile’.

Under the EAS, employees have a dedicated free-phone confidential helpline 1800 411 057 available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year providing advice on a range of issues such as wellbeing, legal, financial, mediation, management support etc. Where required, short-term counselling is available to employees and their families (over the age of 18 years and living at home). A bespoke wellbeing portal and app which offers access to podcasts and blogs on topics around wellbeing and mental health, family life, exercise and nutrition is also available. In addition online cognitive behavioural therapy is provided. As part of the services provided by Spectrum. Life a Mental Health Promotion Manager is avail-able to develop and deliver evidence based mental health and wellbeing initiatives to reduce stigma and improve mental health literacy and to increase engagement with the service. They will also be providing a series of webinars and presentations to promote staff wellbeing in schools as schools reopen and during the upcoming school year.

First Aid/Emergency Procedure

The standard First Aid/emergency procedure shall continue to apply in schools. In an emergency or in case of a serious incident, schools should call for an ambulance or the fire brigade on 112/999 giving details of location and type of medical incident.

We all appreciate that these are extraordinary times – we need to work together to protect each other. Please be ever mindful that some people have different medical needs and some of us have high risk or very high risk family members at home– we need to adapt our ways to protect our school and extended community.

We can and will revise our procedures as we try them out – this is a learning curve for us all.

Please do not hesitate to report any concerns or solutions you have to the lead worker representatives



Signed Chairperson BOM: ___________________________________

Date: __________________________

Appendix a

Class Interaction

Downstairs bubble/Upstairs bubble

Each class is a pod within a Bubble

Bubbles should never meet except in exceptional circumstances e.g. fire drill where everyone should be conscious of maintaining social distancing as much as possible.

Pods should limit interaction but will share yard times and break times whilst still maintaining social distancing

Teacher’s desks should be marked with minimum of 1m distance around them up to 2m if possible.

All children should have basic supplies that are NOT taken home, but kept in school for school use only.


Each class will have cleaning supplies to clean their own workspaces every day in a sealed box

Sanitiser station in each class

Soap and paper towels

Toilets shared between the bubble. Staff to ensure toilet is empty before child is sent out. Keep a toilet sign in/out sheet

Separate First Aid rooms for Upstairs Bubble and Downstairs Bubble


See the department notes in the Roadmap to Reopening schools pg 39 onwards

Emphasis will be on reintegrating students to school safely and reducing anxiety, developing understanding of health and safety rules and responsibilities, promoting well-being. I would also encourage the use of our outside space as much as possible to maximise physical distance and keep students engaged and focused.


See separate document for transport arrangements


First break in class – snack time whenever you want.

Second break – in lunch room/hall, students seated with own class pod 1m apart if possible– no mix of pods (we can move tables into the hall if more space necessary)

Appendix b


Start Time is 9:20.

 On arrival, students  should wait until instructed to debus. Students will enter the building in their taxi/bus groups under direct supervision of designated member of staff. Ms. Hollywell will accompany them into the building. Peter will be stationed at the gates and Ms. Hollywell by the front door/stairwell.

Pupils will proceed to classrooms. Seniors go up the first set of stairs. Juniors proceed to their classrooms down the corridor. A designated staff member will supervise transition of the stairs.

At 9:20, all staff should be in their classrooms ready to receive pupils. 1 staff member will be stationed at the door and the other in the classroom until children are in. This time is for sanitising hands, relaxing, reading, chatting, colouring, and class assembly.

Bags If a student has a bag, it should be kept under their table.

Lunches Will be handed out by Peter and students will keep their lunch in their bag except in exceptional circumstances, depending on the needs of the student. Students will bring in their own bottles of water from home.

Phones If students bring in a phone, have zip lock bags ready with names on. Student places phone in the bag and it is then put in a box and locked away. Only students touch their phones. (Parents to be notified that this is at their own risk.)


*All staff should be available to assist with transitioning and supervision of pupils until the last pupil has departed.

                           JUNIORS leave via side entrance

2:45                     Junior A proceed with their staff members, 1 at front of line and 1 at the end of the line, left out of their room and out the glass doors at the end of the corridor. Follow the path around to the buses and staff then accompany any students to taxis. Junior B proceed with their staff members as above, left out of their classroom and out the side exit. Junior C proceed out the side entrance with staff members as above. *NOTE: On departure each class is to inform the next of their departure.                      SENIORS leave via Front Entrance.
2:55 3rd Year with their staff (as above) exit down the second set of stairs, turn left and leave via the front entrance. 4th Year Proceed a short time after them, followed by 5th Year and finally 6th Year. All staff should be available to assist with transitioning and supervision of pupils until the last pupil has departed.    

These arrangements will be reviewed and adjusted.

The path from the fire doors can become an issue in wet weather so if health and safety is compromised, the Juniors will use the front door too.

Appendix C

Dealing with a Suspected Case of COVID-19

Staff or pupils should not attend school if displaying any symptoms of COVID-19. The following outlines how a school should deal with a suspected case that may arise in a school setting.

A designated isolation area should be identified within the school building – use a first aid room or the OT office if extra capacity needed.

The possibility of having more than one person displaying signs of COVID-19 should be considered and a contingency plan for dealing with additional cases put in place. 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 suspect
  • 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

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.

Cleaning of an area where there has been a suspected case of Covid 19.x

The room should be cleaned as soon as practicably possible.

Once the room is vacated the room should not be reused until the room has been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected and all surfaces are dry.

Disinfection only works on things that are clean. When disinfection is required it is always as well as cleaning.

Person assigned to cleaning should avoid touching their face while they are cleaning and should wear household gloves and a plastic apron.

Clean the environment and furniture using disposable cleaning cloths and a household detergent followed by disinfection with a chlorine based product (household bleach).

Pay special attention to frequently touched surfaces, the back of chairs, couches, door handles and any surfaces that are visibly soiled with body fluids.

Once the room has been cleaned and disinfected and all surfaces are dry, the room can be reused.

If a pupil or staff diagnosed with COVID-19 spent time in a communal area like a canteen, play area or if they used the toilet or bathroom facilities, then the areas should be cleaned with household detergent followed by a disinfectant (as outlined in the HSPC health advice for schools ) as soon as is practically possible.