Positive Covid-19 case confirmed in second Dublin school

Individual and other pupils deemed ‘close contacts’ sent home from west Dublin primary school

The positive test was confirmed on Tuesday, with parents informed by the school shortly afterwards. File photograph: The Irish Times

The positive test was confirmed on Tuesday, with parents informed by the school shortly afterwards. File photograph: The Irish Times

 

A number of pupils have been sent home from a primary school in west Dublin, following a positive case of coronavirus.

The case is the second linked to a school in as many days, with a primary school in southwest Dublin sending a classroom of pupils home for two weeks on Tuesday following a confirmed case.

It is understood the individual who tested positive and other pupils deemed “close contacts” have been sent home from the west Dublin primary school, which is located several kilometres away from the other school in which there was a case.

The latest positive test was confirmed on Tuesday, with parents informed by the school shortly afterwards. The mixed primary school has more than 200 pupils.

It is understood the majority of the class were deemed to be close contacts of the pupil, and will now self-isolate for two weeks at home, while awaiting two rounds of Covid-19 testing.

All family members of a child with suspected Covid-19 symptoms have to self-isolate while the child is awaiting a test. However, this requirement would not extend to other children in the class sent home from the school, unless they begin to display symptoms.

Under current HSE guidelines all pupils in a class will not automatically be referred for testing if there is a confirmed coronavirus case.

The number of students in a class deemed “close contacts” of pupils who test positive for Covid-19 and referred for testing will be “variable” to each classroom and school, HSE guidance states.

In primary schools, where students are divided into smaller groups called “pods,” it is likely the other students in a pod would be deemed “close contacts” of a case. However, students in other pods in the classroom would not be, and as such would not be referred for testing.

In a statement, Dublin and Dún Laoghaire Education & Training Board (DDL ETB) confirmed there had been a positive case associated with one of its schools in west Dublin.

“All necessary hygiene, health and safety protocols are in place at the school for the prevention and containment of the virus which is a general public health issue,” a spokesman said.

“All relevant close contacts in the school have been identified, contacted and advised of next steps,” he said.

“The school is continuing in full operation. In line with the Return to School protocols, close contacts have been requested to stay at home where remote lessons will continue to be provided using online systems.”

In a letter sent to parents on Tuesday, the school said all those who had not been contacted by the HSE and informed they were “close contacts” of the case should attend school as normal.

Dundalk company

Separately, Chinese biopharmaceutical company WuXi has confirmed that six people on its Dundalk campus have tested positive for Covid-19 and 20 others are self-isolating in line with public health advice.

On Wednesday the company, which has around 1,700 people working on the campus, of which 90 percent are contractors, said it had been informed that six employees of two contractor companies engaged on construction work on the WuXi biopharma campus in Dundalk, Co Louth, tested positive.

“It is understood that four of the six individuals who contracted the infection did so in a social setting unrelated to the workplace,” the company said.

“Once a Covid-19 occurrence is reported, track and trace procedures apply, and immediate work colleagues are asked to test for Covid-19 and to isolate off-site for a period of 14 days as mandated by the health authorities. In all, as of today’s date, 20 contractor staff remain in self isolation.”

In 2018 the company announced a €325m investment in the Dundalk facility which is set to become the largest contract manufacturing single-use biologics production facility in the world.