NPHET says children should avoid indoor activities and wear masks to school in latest advice to government
The national public health emergency team recommended that children not attend “after-school” indoor gatherings such as communions, nurseries and other seasonal events for at least two weeks.
In addition, children of third class or above should now wear masks in school and those aged nine or over should be masked in areas where adults must cover their faces.
The group also advises children to avoid indoor birthday parties, sleepovers and play dates – however, these gatherings can be held outdoors as long as they are in small numbers.
The recommendations were made in Dr Tony Holohan’s last letter to Health Minister Stephen Donnelly on Thursday evening.
It comes after 8,000 cases have been recorded among people aged 0 to 18 in the past seven days through Saturday.
The latest data from the Health Protection Surveillance Center showed that there were 7,117 confirmed cases of Covid in people aged five to 18 in the previous seven days until Saturday.
Of these cases, 166 were “confirmed” to be related to an outbreak in a school or daycare. On top of that, recent HSE data shows there were 30 outbreaks recorded in universities, schools and daycares in the past week.
The NPHET had also recommended the extension of the Covid pass to all settings where there is a high risk of transmission, through close contact or other activities, not yet covered by the current regime.
During a press briefing Thursday afternoon, Dr Colm Henry said that while keeping schools open is not without risks, it is important to the health and general well-being of children that schools remain open.
He said: “I would say the lesson we learned here (…)