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22 May 2022

Schools reopening should be delayed in a bid to tackle escalating Covid19 cases

Eugene Murphy

Fianna Fáil Senator Eugene Murphy

Fianna Fáil Senator for Roscommon/Galway Eugene Murphy has called for schools to remain closed for an additional two weeks and the implementation of stricter restrictions in a bid to circuit break the escalating number of Covid 19 cases.

The Fianna Fáil Senator said that it is his own personal opinion that the reopening of schools should be delayed for a further two-week period and he has called for an early decision on the matter this week.

Also read: Gardaí to ramp up Covid-19 checkpoints across Longford in bid to ensure "full compliance" with lockdown measures

“With hospitals under pressure and Covid-19 cases more than double the previous records I really don’t think it’s credible that schools can reopen as planned on January 11th. We saw almost 5,000 Covid 19 cases yesterday which is a truly staggering and alarming figure and with case numbers expected to rise even further it is my own opinion that schools should remain closed for an additional two-week period.

“If the schools reopen it is inevitable that there will be staffing problems as teachers or staff may be isolating after the Christmas period or if positive cases arise in schools, we will have classes in and out isolating for two-week periods. I think it makes more sense to leave the schools closed and possibly tighten up restrictions with a circuit break lockdown for a few weeks to tackle these escalating Covid19 numbers- I believe that is preferable to constantly going in and out of these revolving lock downs,” said Senator Murphy.

Also read: Longford records second highest daily number of positive infections since pandemic began

The Fianna Fáil Senator commended Minister for Education Norma Foley for keeping the schools open during such challenging times but he said that a decision of the reopening of the schools needed to be made early this week to allow parents and guardians time to put plans in place.

Senator Murphy also called for the reopening of pre-schools to also be delayed beyond January 11th in line with schools to form part of an effective circuit breaker lockdown to tackle the alarming escalation of Covid19 cases.

“I believe a circuit breaker type lockdown for the next few weeks would be a better approach as we cannot keep going in and out of these revolving lockdowns and the vaccine programme also needs to be accelerated in line with this. If we can get the numbers reduced, we could then look at doing county or regional lockdowns rather than having to shut the whole country down and keep going in and out of revolving lockdowns which is devastating for the economy and mental health of our people,” said Senator Murphy.

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