Letter from Chief Medical Officer - Sunday 1st March

LetterFromCMO

Statement from the National Public Health Emergency Team- Sunday 1st March

Published: 1 March 2020
From: 
Department of Health

Contact Tracing of the confirmed Covid-19 case, in the East of Ireland, has identified and made contact with a secondary school. The principal, staff and parents of pupils of this school have been notified.

Following risk assessment, all pupils and teachers are being treated as close contacts of the confirmed case.

The school will close for the duration of the incubation period, which is 14 days.

All pupils and teachers are being asked to restrict their movements until the end of the incubation period and will receive guidance on the meaning of ‘restricted movements’.

Public health doctors will actively follow-up with all students and teachers on a daily basis over the coming 14 days.

Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer with the Department of Health, said:

“Contact tracing has assessed that close contacts of this patient includes pupils and teachers of a secondary school. Public health doctors are in direct contact with pupils, their parents and the staff involved.

"Patient confidentiality in this case, and in all cases, should be respected. The Department of Health will provide updated information as necessary.”

The Department of Education said:

“The Department of Education is available to assist the school in any way necessary. The Departments of Education and Health are in regular contact. The closing of this school was a decision made on public health grounds after risk assessment deemed it appropriate. All other schools will remain open. The Departments will continue to communicate with all schools on this issue.”

Covid-19 is spread through close contact with an infected person’s body fluids (e.g. droplets from coughing or sneezing), or by touching surfaces that an infected person has coughed or sneezed on.

The general public is advised to follow advice from the HSE and the Health Protection Surveillance Centre to protect their health.

ENDS

Notes to the Editor:

The National Public Health Emergency Team case definition includes Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Iran and four regions in northern Italy (Lombardy, Veneto Emilia-Romagna and Piedmont) alongside mainland China.

  • anyone who has been to an affected region (mainland China, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Iran and four regions in northern Italy) in the last 14 days AND is experiencing symptoms should self-isolate and call their GP
  • anyone who has been in close contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19 in the last 14 days AND is experiencing symptoms should immediately self-isolate and call their GP
  • anyone who has been to an affected region (China, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea, Iran and four regions in northern Italy) in the last 14 days, and are well, should visit www.HSE.ie for advice.

It can take up to 14 days for symptoms of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) to show.

Symptoms may include:

  • a cough
  • shortness of breath
  • breathing difficulties
  • fever (high temperature)

Covid-19 (Coronavirus) can also cause more severe illness, including:

  • pneumonia
  • shortness of breath
  • breathing difficulties
  • fever (high temperature)

Things you can do to protect yourself from getting Covid-19 (Coronavirus) include:

wash your hand properly and regularly

cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough and sneeze

Wash your hands properly and regularly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub:

  • after coughing and sneezing
  • after toilet use
  • before eating
  • before and after preparing food

ENDS

 

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