Public Health North East Media Statement Cavan-Monaghan 21 May 2021
The Public Health Department North East is urging people in Cavan and Monaghan to limit their social contacts and avoid gatherings to protect Leaving Certificate students in the run-up to next month’s examinations.
The majority of COVID-19 cases in schools in the North East have been linked to cases outside the school environment. Social gatherings are unfortunately contributing to the spread of COVID-19 among children, young people and subsequently in schools in the North East.
Dr Augustine Pereira, Director of Public Health North East, said: “We need to protect our school environments from exposure to COVID-19, especially Leaving Cert students who plan to sit the examinations in the coming weeks.”
“We don’t want to see students contract COVID-19, or be a close contact of an infected person, and not be able to sit the exams, which start on June 9. With just a few weeks remaining, we strongly encourage students and their families to act responsibly and not to attend any social events/parties which may increase their risk of catching or spreading COVID-19.”
“We are concerned about settings where multiple households are coming together and undermining the importance of public health guidelines. We all collectively need to recommit to being cautious and vigilant of how our actions outside our household impacts others.”
Dr Sean Denyer, Specialist in Public Health Medicine, who leads the Department’s Schools Teams, said: “We are aware of gatherings and birthday parties that are being organised. These gatherings have become super spreader events that have resulted in an increase in the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the community. We understand how frustrating all this is for young people, who have done an incredible job so far, but are asking them to be really careful in the coming weeks to protect both themselves and their friends.”
“We all need to work together to protect students during these times. We are stressing the importance of limiting your contacts with others outside of your household. Adhering to public health guidelines is key to keeping students safe,” he added.
You can help protect your local school community by:
- Avoiding social gatherings, such as indoor meetings, birthday parties, events in groups. Further social mixing outside the school environment increases the risk of transmission.
- Pupils and staff can be protected at school by a number of mitigation measures during break time, on the school bus, before and after school etc. These measures include face coverings where recommended, socially distancing, and frequent hand washing.
- If anyone in your household has symptoms consistent with COVID-19, the individual should self-isolate and arrange a free COVID-19 test. You and other household members should stay at home until test results are known. Exercising this level of precaution could prevent an outbreak from occurring at your school or among friends and family.
- If you are contacted by Public Health North East, please follow all instructions and advice to best ensure the safety of everyone, and to minimise onward spread of any infection.