Minister would seek advice about keeping schools open if Ireland moves to Level 5

Minister would seek advice about keeping schools open if Ireland moves to Level 5

Minister Norma Foley says schools continue to be a safe place to be. Picture: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The Education Minister says if the country goes to Level 5 of the Covid-19 restrictions she would seek public health advice in relation to schools remaining open.

It comes amid warnings from the Chief Medical Officer that the country's contact tracing system can not keep up with the number of infections.

Cavan, Donegal and Monaghan entered Level 4 last night, while a nationwide ban on household visits also came into force.

NPHET advised the Department of Health on Wednesday that schools are not amplifying the case numbers.

 

Minister Norma Foley says schools continue to be a safe place to be.

"There has been an absolute determination to keep our schools open," she told Newstalk.

"But it is very important to say that at Level 5, we would of course follow the public health advice available at that point."

Yesterday it was reported Ireland could be facing 1,800-2,500 cases per day and more than 400 people in hospital by Halloween, according to the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet).

The virus is "uncontrolled" across the State, according to Dr Philip Nolan, as a further 1,205 cases were announced along with three further deaths.

In the Nphet statement announcing the Covid-19 figures, Dr Nolan said: "Modelling shows that if current trends continue, by October 31, the number of cases notified daily would be in the range of 1,800-2,500 cases with over 400 people in hospital."

Increasing concern has been flagged in people aged 18-24, where the incidence rate is three times higher than the next age bracket.

Nphet members said they were incredibly concerned about the trajectory amid data that shows people's behaviour has not changed.

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