Glanmire school management want more information from HSE

Glanmire school management want more information from HSE

The board of management at Gaelscoil Uí Drisceoil say that if the HSE had disclosed more information, it may have been able to contain the Covid-19 outbreak which forced it to shut down. Picture: Brown Brothers

Management at the Cork school forced to close this week due to a significant outbreak of Covid-19 amongst students believes if information had been shared with them sooner, they may have been able to limit the spread of the virus.

Mass testing of all students and staff at Gaelscoil Uí Drisceoil began today, nine days after the first case of the virus was notified to the school. It is understood further cases have been identified among students and members of their families.

Management at the school believes that, if it had been notified of other cases which had not been disclosed to it, it could have limited the scale of the outbreak, according to Seán Ó Conaill, the chairperson of the school’s board of management.

“The school’s concern is that we want to limit an outbreak as much as possible and get as much relevant data in the hands of the principal as soon as possible," he said. 

“We appreciate that the HSE might be in possession of this data,” he told RTÉ.

“They do have considerable legal powers to share that data in certain circumstances where they wouldn’t be able to ordinarily. 

"Had we had been provided with that information at an earlier stage, there is a good chance that the scale of this outbreak could have been limited and [the school would] not have had to close.”

The school did not respond to queries from the Irish Examiner.

Meanwhile, HSE chief executive Paul Reid said the HSE was working closely with the school. Mr Reid said the approach to dealing with an outbreak in schools involved a risk assessment.

"In some cases, it has been a pod, in some cases, it has been a class, in very few cases it has been a full school," he said.  

"We would be working very closely with that school and that school principal in terms of monitoring and assessing as the tests come back as well." 

Mr Reid said he didn't know if any tests had come back positive, but described it as an "ongoing process", and said the HSE was also working with the school's board of management. 

"Again, it's those balance of risks that our teams make a judgment on," he said. 

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