Glynn: ‘We don’t envisage schools opening before September’

Glynn: ‘We don’t envisage schools opening before September’
Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, speaking at the Department of Health yesterday. Photo Colin Keegan

Primary and secondary schools are unlikely to reopen before September, according to the State's deputy chief medical officer.

It comes as the National Parents’ Council Primary and an expert from the World Health Organisation (WHO) called on the Government to consider re-opening schools as the numbers of Covid-19 cases continue to decline.

However, speaking at the daily briefing of the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn poured cold water on the suggestions but said the situation was constantly under review as public health officials learn more about the virus.

"We need to be careful in what we do...As we sit here now with the evidence that is in front of us today, we don't envisage schools opening before September but, of course, we will continue to review the evidence as it comes through including from all of the countries across Europe that have moved forward," he said.

When asked about the intention of four out of 10 Dublin pubs planning to reopen under a restaurant licence in June, Dr Glynn said "that pubs, at least in the traditional sense we understand pubs would open back up on that date".

"We want all sectors to be able to open up as quickly as possible but that has to be done in a phased manner, it has to be done in a safe manner," he said.

Meanwhile, the NPHET confirmed that a further 11 people have died from Covid-19 bringing the total number of deaths across the country to 1,571.

A further 64 people have tested positive for the virus bringing the total number of confirmed cases in Ireland to 24,315. 

This was the fifth day in a row that the number of confirmed cases has fallen below 100.

Further detail was also provided on the number of deaths of people in at risk groups and the most vulnerable sections of Irish society.

Four members of the Roma community in Ireland have died from the virus, out of 22 people diagnosed. A total of seven people have been hospitalised.

There have been 19 cases confirmed in Irish prisons with two people hospitalised. 

Two members of the Travelling community have been hospitalised out of the 46 total cases.

A total of 171 people living in Direct Provision have been diagnosed with Covid-19 with 14 people requiring hospitalisation, while there are 20  cases confirmed among homeless people, with five being hospitalised.

Dr Glynn also revealed that almost nine out of 10 (87%) people who have contracted the disease have recovered.

    Useful information
  • The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here
  • Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department;
  • GPs Out of Hours services are not in a position to order testing for patients with normal cold and flu-like symptoms. HSELive is an information line and similarly not in a position to order testing for members of the public. The public is asked to reserve 112/999 for medical emergencies at all times.
  • ALONE has launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland. The support line will be open seven days a week, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024

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