Breda O’Brien: Fudging truth about Covid risks in classrooms damages public confidence

Society needs schools but we must not bury health risks in constructive ambiguity

Ten thousand positive cases among those aged five to 12 were reported in the last fortnight. This translates to some 15,000 children self-isolating if you allow for siblings. Significant numbers of teachers are also either sick or self-isolating.

Ten thousand positive cases among those aged five to 12 were reported in the last fortnight. This translates to some 15,000 children self-isolating if you allow for siblings. Significant numbers of teachers are also either sick or self-isolating.

Masks are not necessary, except for medical workers. Masks are an important element of the fight against Covid-19. Masks are definitely not needed for children in primary schools. Everyone over the age of nine should wear a mask in school.  Antigen tests are not useful. Antigen tests are a useful adjunct in the prevention of transmission of Covid-19 in asymptomatic patients. 

Schools are safe environments and transmission in schools is low. We’ve never said that schools are a safe environment. We’ve said that they’re a lower-risk environment.

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