27 Sept 2022

Mask wearing in primary schools and other measures being considered at NPHET meeting today

Mask wearing in primary schools and other measures being considered at NPHET meeting today

Increased mask wearing at outdoor events and possibly the use of them in primary schools are understood to be measures which will be considered at a meeting of the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) later today. 

President of the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland Professor Mary Horgan said avoiding lockdown would be the right way to go but that the situation has to be watched very closely.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland earlier today, Prof Horgan, who is a member of NPHET, said it may be the right time to consider the use of masks in primary school.

Prof Horgan  said the incidence of infection in primary school has been high over the last few months. She said this was probably because the group is unvaccinated and do not use masks.

However, she hoped a return to restrictions will not be needed. 

"Avoid lockdown at all costs would be the right way to go at this point in time, but it's always a bit uncertain and unpredictable," she said.

She added that the current situation in hospital is steady and it would good to see Covid cases decline.

Latest figures show that primary school-aged children now have the highest Covid incidence of any age group, with around 10,000 positive cases in the past fortnight.

A report from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) also notes that the infection rate for primary school-aged children has been rising since mid-October, but the risk of transmission within a school still remains “low”.

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