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INTO confident of ‘more robust’ school testing and tracing

admin | February 28, 2021
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The Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) says it is confident there will be a more robust Covid-19 testing and tracing system in schools.

Around 300,000 students will return to the classroom tomorrow as part of the phased reopening plan.

The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) says if there’s a confirmed case in a school setting, a public health risk assessment will be carried out along with PCR testing.

It says there is significant additional capacity to carry out PCR testing for schools.

General Secretary of the INTO, John Boyle, says they’re happy with the changes.

Mr Boyle said: “We expect that if there is a positive test in a school or a class, we have this batch testing where basically the whole class is tested one after the other at a test centre, the results come back really quickly, so we are confident that there will be a more robust testing and tracing system.”

B117 variant Meanwhile, the B117 variant Covid-19 strain is unlikely to make a “significant” difference to the transmission of the virus in school settings according to the chairman of the National Public Health Emergency Team’s (Nphet) modelling group.

We remain optimistic that the level of transmission within schools will be low now, just as it was throughout the latter part of 2020, despite the new variant, because of the efforts of school principals and teachers,” Prof Philip Nolan told Newstalk on Sunday.

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