COVID-19 Information

posted Mar 5, 2020, 6:17 AM by Lahinch School

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update for Scoil Mhuire, Lahinch 


Dear Parent/Guardian,

As you will now be aware, news has emerged of four confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID -19) in our locality. Due to this development, C.B.S Ennistymon has closed with immediate effect for a period of 14 days up until 18th March. Similarly, St. Flannan’s N.S, Inagh is closed for a similar period of time, in order to allow screening of those in these schools. 

I appreciate that this is a time of great concern for all in our community as we come to terms with this development and its implications for us all. In order to gain clarity on how best to proceed, I rang the HSE Live Telephone Service this morning and received the following key information:

Anyone who has come into close contact with any the four individual carrying the Coronavirus (COVID – 19) locally will be contacted directly by the HSE and will be updated on how to proceed from there. It cannot be stressed highly enough how important it is that such advice be heeded by all individuals

I would also like to assure all parent/guardians that, in the event that your child is required by the HSE to remain off school in isolation for a period, this will be taken into account should a child go over 20 days of absence this year. Proof of such a request should be forwarded to the school, as would be the case with any medical certificate. Hopefully this will allay any potential fears people might have  should such an absence occur.

In the event that any parent/guardian/member of staff is contacted by the HSE in relation to their contact, or their child’s contact, with one of the four affected individuals, it is of great importance that you inform the school to let us know you have been contacted by the HSE. This will allow us to keep a close eye out for symptoms among such individuals in particular. 

Given that the 4 cases are so close to us geographically, the decision has been made to postpone tonight’s First Confession service in the church in Lahinch, which was due to take place at 6.30pm. This decision was made to afford the HSE a 24 hour window of time to contact anyone in our school community who may have come into contact with the 4 individuals carrying the virus. While we appreciate that this is not ideal, the onus is on us all to treat this matter seriously and cooperate with the HSE as they try to contact all those individuals who need to be contacted. 

Beyond this, the message I have received is that we should proceed as normal while following the correct protocols in terms of sneezing, hand hygiene and contact while also monitoring closely for symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID – 19), both at home and at school. 

In summary, the following are the key points which we need to keep in mind:

  1. Anyone who has come into close contact with any of the 4 individuals diagnosed with Coronavirus (COVID – 19) will to be contacted by the HSE directly.

  2. In the event that anyone in our school community is contacted by the HSE, it is essential that you A) Heed all advice given to you and B) Inform the school of your being contacted as soon as possible to allow for close monitoring in case symptoms emerge. 

  3. In the event of there being any parent/guardian/staff member with individual concerns, the HSE Live Telephone Service Team can be contacted from 8am – 8pm Monday to Friday @ 1850-241850 and on weekends from 9am – 5pm.

  4. School will be open as normal in the morning. 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all parents/guardians for the steps you are taking to keep the children and wider community safe, including the community in Scoil Mhuire, Lahinch. In school, we have ensured that anti-bacterial hand wash is available to the children in all bathrooms and there are various posters up around the school and in classrooms with tips for both children and staff which we refer to. I will enclose a link to these in the event that you want to print them yourselves and put them up in your own homes. Aside from this, I would appeal to all parents/guardians and staff to continue to reinforce messages around the importance of good hygiene and remain vigilant for signs of the key symptoms. For your convenience, I have enclosed some useful questions and answers on the next two pages which I hope you will all find helpful. The questions and answers were obtained from the HSE website. 

 If I have any further updates, I will bring them to you as soon as we have them. Similarly, the latest national updates from the HSE can be sourced at: 

Many thanks one and all. Stay safe. 

Mise le Meas,

Bryan Curry (Deputy Principal)

Information from the HSE Website which may be of use to Parents/Guardians/Teachers

Key Symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)

It can take up to 14 days for symptoms of coronavirus to appear.

The symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a cough

  • shortness of breath

  • breathing difficulties

  • fever (high temperature)

What do you do if you display symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should:

  • isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone

  • phone their GP, or emergency department - if this is not possible, phone 112 or 999

  • in a medical emergency (if you have severe symptoms) phone 112 or 999

When may may need to be tested for Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

You will need to be tested for coronavirus if you have symptoms and have in the last 14 days been:

If your doctor thinks that you need a test for coronavirus, they will tell you where the test will be done. They will also tell you when to expect your results.

How is Coronavirus (COVID-19) spread?

Coronavirus is spread in sneeze or cough droplets.

You could get the virus if you:

  • come into close contact with someone who has the virus and is coughing or sneezing

  • touch surfaces that someone who has the virus has coughed or sneezed on

As it's a new illness, we do not know how easily the virus spreads from person to person. Spread is most likely from those who have symptoms.

The virus may only survive a few hours if someone who has it coughs or sneezes on a surface. Simple household disinfectants can kill the virus on surfaces. Clean the surface first and then use a disinfectant.

Note: Close contact is defined as spending more than 15 minutes face-to-face contact within 2 metres of an infected person and/or living in the same house or shared accommodation as an infected person (This is a guide only.)

How can you prevent your child from catching or spreading viral infections?

To help prevent your child from catching or spreading a virus, teach them:

  • how to wash their hands properly and regularly

  • to always carry tissues and cover their mouth and nose with a tissue if they are coughing or sneezing

  • to cough or sneeze into their bent elbow and then wash their hands, if they don't have a tissue

  • to bin used tissues, then wash their hands

  • not to share water bottles, cups, glasses or anything else they put into your mouth

  • not to touch their eyes or nose when unwell

  • to avoid close contact with anyone who you know has cold or flu symptoms

Make sure your child’s vaccines or immunisations are up to date.

Some parents teach older children to 'dab' when they sneeze. Dabbing is a dance move in which a child drops their head into their bent elbow. This can be a fun way for your child to learn good hygiene when sneezing.

Lahinch School,
Mar 5, 2020, 6:17 AM
Lahinch School,
Mar 5, 2020, 6:17 AM
Lahinch School,
Mar 5, 2020, 6:17 AM
Lahinch School,
Mar 5, 2020, 6:17 AM
Lahinch School,
Mar 5, 2020, 6:17 AM