Covid-19: Operational matters in schools

Controlling the spread of infection

In a letter to schools dated 31 August 2022, the DE stated:

The Department of Health and the office of the Chief Medical Officer have advised that there are no new requirements in respect of managing COVID-19.
The key messages are as follows:

  • Stay at home if you are unwell. The best way to keep all viruses out of school is to stay at home if you are unwell and until your symptoms have substantially resolved for 48 hours.
  • Maintain a good standard of hand hygiene
  • Adhere to good respiratory etiquette
  • Ensure good ventilation arrangements
  • Continue to maintain good levels of cleaning

In accordance with the Transitional Protocol – Good Practice Guidance for Continuing to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 each workplace should continue to maintain and update their COVID-19 Response Plan to take account of the changed public health advice.
The Department is currently revising the template COVID-19 Response Plan and this will issue to schools shortly.
As per Information Note SD 0003/2022, from 28 February 2022, there is no longer a requirement for staff or pupils to wear a face covering or mask in school.
Current public health advice advises that a high-quality face mask should be worn for days 8 – 10 following a positive COVID-19 test, after the required period of self-isolation has ended.
Yes, staff or pupils may continue to wear face coverings or masks if they wish to do so on a personal basis.
Schools should continue to make masks available to staff on request, and funding to support the purchase of PPE is available to schools during Term 1.
Any teacher who requires an FFP2 mask should request one from their Board. Schools can use COVID-19 funding for the purchasing of this type of face mask.
There is no change to the Department’s guidance on ventilation that was last updated in 2021, details here.
As the new school year commences it is good practice to check that the ventilation systems and CO2 monitors are working correctly in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, likewise with any air cleaners ensuring adherence to the filter cleaning and maintenance regime recommended by the manufacturer.

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