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Six classes sent home from one primary school as cases of Covid-19 confirmed


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Six classes have been sent home from a national school after five cases of Covid-19 were confirmed.

Two of the classes affected at St Colmcille National School affected were "shut down" yesterday with testing underway to ensure the spread of the virus is contained.

It's believed the first two positive cases at the north Longford school came on St Patrick's Day night with an additional two cases coming on Friday. The fifth case was confirmed on Monday.

It's also understood two staff members are working remotely as they are classified as high risk.

Letters have been emailed informing parents and guardians of cases, with text messages also being sent advising families as to whether they are deemed close contacts of confirmed cases.

School principal Aideen Mulligan said the school remains open and heaped praise on staff and parents in the wake of the outbreak.

She also said it was her belief the virus came via community transmission and did not originate from within the school.

"The HSE seems happy that the infections came into the school from outside," she said.

"Letters have been emailed to all parents and text messages have also been sent to update them on every case. We are fortunate to have such supportive parents.”

Three separate classrooms are currently out, involving six different classes of children.

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"Because there are siblings of those in the school, it means we don't have many (pupils) in."

Details surrounding the outbreak at the Co Longford primary school come amid heightened fears among NPHET chiefs and public health experts of a suspected fourth wave of Covid-19.

Speaking at a press briefing last night, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn said public health teams had witnessed outbreaks in recent days including students and a small number in schools.

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