Teachers union calls for more transparency on Covid-19 cases in schools

"Teachers would like more confidence in the contact tracing system," Ann Piggott told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland.
Teachers union calls for more transparency on Covid-19 cases in schools

"Staff shortages were occurring with some schools missing up to 10 teachers because they self-isolating while awaiting test results," said Ms Piggott. Picture: iStock

The president of the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI), Ann Piggott has called for more transparency in schools so teachers would know how many cases are in a school and how much at risk they are.

"Teachers would like more confidence in the contact tracing system," Ms Piggott told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland.

"The system of tracing contacts of positive cases in schools needs to be much faster, she said. In some cases it was taking up to a week for contacts to be traced," she added.

"Staff shortages were occurring with some schools missing up to 10 teachers because they self-isolating while awaiting test results," said Ms Piggott.

While transmission rates from children were low, 2.4%, she said, if there were a lot of cases in the community this was “bound to be replicated” in the school and asymptomatic children could transmit the virus to teachers.

“We’ve asked for rapid testing, but it has to be safe and reliable,” said Ms Piggott.

"It can take two days for test results to come back and a further four days for contacts to be identified and traced," she said.

A rapid testing system could be used to identify cases for further testing suggested Ms Piggott.

“Teachers are very fearful, they would like schools to be opened in a safe way.”

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