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Thursday, December 9, 2021

Taoiseach confirms schools will use antigen tests to prevent outbreaks

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has confirmed that antigen testing will now be deployed to schools as Covid-19 cases remain high.

Martin said a critical part of Ireland protecting Christmas will be the rigid enforcement of the Digital Covid-19 Certificate system in hospitality settings.

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He said everyone in Ireland has a part to play in defeating the current wave and ensuring that Ireland gets to enjoy a normal Christmas.

“The important thing is that the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) suggested that in specific circumstances within schools – and I have spoken to the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) – that antigen testing may be used,” he said.

“But the real message from public health has been around non-Covid-19 respiratory illnesses.”

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“That is more of a problem for children right now in terms of admission to hospitals. So, the basic advice is that, for anyone who is symptomatic in any way in terms of respiratory illness, they should not go to school.”

“In terms of contact tracing, there will be a utilisation of antigen in given areas within schools in line with advice from public health,” he continued.

“Public health has been very consistent in relation to schools and the advice given to schools – and will continue to keep the matter under review.”

IMAGE – “Dáil Éireann – Election of Taoiseach” by House of the Oireachtas (CCBY2.0)

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