A crèche on Dublin’s northside has become the first childcare facility to be hit by Covid-19.
oncern has been expressed by some parents that the facility has not closed its doors after the confirmed case of coronavirus last week.
It comes after Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn warned that workplaces were the “new frontline” in the fight against the virus after new cases were reported on building sites, supermarkets and fast-food outlets.
Parents whose children attend the facility received a message alerting them to the fact that a childcare worker had contracted the virus.
The memo sent out last weekend stated that the member of staff who attended work for one day on Monday, July 13 had tested positive for Covid-19.
It also said that any parents of those children who had been in contact with the childcare worker had been contacted. Tests have also been arranged for the “small number” of staff members who were also in contact with them, the memo added.
It said that they wanted to assure parents that all protocols from the HSE and TUSLA had been followed.
“Most importantly, all parents whose children have been in contact with the asymptomatic Educarer have been phoned personally and appropriate testing has been arranged,” it said.
“Likewise, the small number of staff members who were in direct contact with the Educarer in question are being tested and while awaiting results, will not be in attendance at creche.”
However, a parent whose child attends the creche said they were surprised to discover that the facility had remained open in the wake of the Covid-19 case.
“It’s really worrying for parents,” she told the Irish Independent.
“My daughter was due to go back on Monday but I held off after I heard about this case. Now this makes me doubt sending her at all. At the same time, it’s increasingly difficult to manage working from home with her and my other child there the whole time. It’s a really difficult situation.”
A creche manager said they could not comment on the coronavirus case in the branch when contacted by the Irish Independent. When the head office was contacted, a staff member said: "They've received your email and they'll let you know if they're going to say anything."
Both the HSE and TULSA said they do not comment on individual cases.
According to HSE guidelines, if there is a confirmed case of Covid in a childcare setting, the facility will be contacted by a public health official to identify anyone who has been in contact with them during the period they were infectious. They will also advise them on any actions or precautions that should be taken.
An assessment of each childcare setting will also be undertaken by HSE public health staff, who will use that information to advise on the management of children and staff.
The team will also individually speak with anyone who has been in contact with the case and given them appropriate advice. They will also give advice on sanitising communal areas such as classrooms, changing rooms and toilets.
Close contacts of a confirmed case should self-isolate for 14 days and not return to the childcare facility until they are told it is safe to do so - even if the virus is not detected on their tests.