Questions about Covid-19 and school safety

 

Sir, – The ASTI’s decision to threaten strike action in schools should not deflect from the very real concerns that the union and others have raised with regards to the safety of schools.

Chief among these concerns is the effectiveness of contact tracing. Before the system broke down schools were assured that all was well. Now they are being reassured that everything is fixed and working properly. Only the most naive would not have reservations.

Another source of nervousness concerns the nature of the Covid data being provided on schools. It is not the numbers themselves (they indicate that schools are safe) but more how the data is arrived at. The use of different definitions combined with the exclusion of certain information may be justified but it makes it next to impossible, and perhaps meaningless, to compare schools to the rest of society.

Finally, there is a nagging thought. If secondary schools, with their face masks, one metre social distancing and open windows, are so safe why is this solution not used in all workplaces? It would mean the end of the Level 5 lockdown and a return to some semblance of normality. And yet a nationwide rollout of the secondary school template is not under active consideration because . . .? – Yours, etc,

SEAN KEAVENY,

Dublin 15.