Safety and Control Measures in the Event of a Confirmed Case of Covid 19 in our School

Dear Parents and Staff



Re: If we have a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the school



We do not have any confirmed positive cases of Covid-19 in the school. However, it is only prudent that we consider what procedures are in place to deal if such a situation were to arise so that all of us are aware in advance of what happens in such an event.


Safety and Control Measures

The BoM, school leadership and staff are very conscious of the paramount need to keep all pupils, staff and visitors safe while in the school.  The school is a controlled environment. There are control measures in place to combat the introduction or spread of COVID-19.  These are based on:


  • Physical Distancing
  • Hand Hygiene
  • Respiratory and Hygiene Etiquette
  • Face coverings, where necessary.



When a person displays symptoms of COVID-19

The following steps are taken when a person (child or adult) in the school presents with suspected COVID-19 symptoms:


  • That person is moved to the isolated area prior to going home. In the case of children, their parents will be asked to come to the school, take them home and contact their GP for a free telephone consultation
  • If the GP recommends that the person (child or adult) go for a COVID-19 test, that person is now considered a query case for COVID-19 and all of his/her household members are removed from the school and must restrict their movements until the results of the test come back
  • In the case of a negative result (98% of cases), the GP will advise when the person should return to school – usually after 48 hours.
  • In the case of a positive result (2% of cases), Public Health will, by law, be informed. This may take a matter of hours due to legal and volume of work issues.  The risk has been removed from the school as the person who tested positive and his/her household are at home
  • The person tested, or their parents, may well be informed before Public Health. In many cases a social media discussion ensues and anxiety levels are raised among the school community.



Public Health Intervention

The Public Health Department of the HSE is the agency responsible by law for dealing with positive cases of COVID-19:


  • Once notified by the HSE testing regime, Public Health Doctors assume total control of the situation and will carry out a risk assessment. Based on questioning, the person with the positive result they will ascertain if they were within the school setting when they contracted the virus.  If not, there is no need to contact the school
  • If the person was within the school setting when they contracted the virus, Public Health will contact the principal to carry out a Public Health Risk Assessment. This is a set of questions to see who might have been exposed to the virus and who needs to be excluded or tested.  This risk assessment will be unique to each school
  • The principal and BoM have no function in the risk assessment other than to provide whatever information is required by the Public Health Medical Officer conducting the risk assessment
  • The principal and BoM may be asked to assist the Medical Office by sending a message from them to the relevant families identified in the risk assessment. Public Health will not contact other members of the school community
  • The principal and BoM are not permitted to inform members of the school community of the identity of the person or persons who have tested positive for COVID-19 for the following reasons:


  • Doctor – Patient confidentiality
  • GDPR legislation prevents the publication of personal data without consent





Geraldine Conlon (Chairperson)

Sarah Bradley (Principal/Secretary Board of Management)


Crochet on-line classes for parents

Dear parent/guardians,

I would like to welcome you all back after the extended break and I would especially like to extend a warm welcome to our new parents.

Unfortunately due to government guidelines regarding COVID-19, parent classes cannot be held in school.

Geraldine, our wonderful crochet tutor has offered to host crochet classes online. The classes are for beginners or you can pick up where you left off in March.

It will be an opportunity for parents to chat to one another from the comfort of their own home.

The course is due to start on Thursday 1st October from 10am to 12pm.

If interested, please text your name and email address to 087-1838649 by 18th September.

Vivienne Lamont HSCL 

Information for parents about COVID-19 testing

Thankfully we have had no cases of COVID-19 at St. Joseph’s but it is important for parents and children to attend for a test if their GP refers them.  At the moment one in four people are not turning up for tests.

If your GP refers you or your child for a test, you will first need ti isolate while you wait for the test. The people in your household will need to restrict their movements. Therefore, if anyone in the house has been referred for a test, the children cannot come to school until the test results are known.

If you have symptoms:

1. Self-isolate

2. Phone your GP

3. GP will send electronic referral for test.

4. you will get a text with a date, time and location for the test.

5. If you do not drive, tell your GP and they will let the test centre know to organise transport.

6. The entire service is free. Referrals and tests are available seven days a week.

7. If test results are negative, you will get a text message saying  “not detected”. If the test result is positive, you will get a phone call and contact tracing will begin. Further HSE guidelines will follow.

Historic Day for St. Joseph’s CBS

St. Joseph’s CBS welcomed girls into Junior Infants for the first time in the history of the school.

There was great excitement as all staff came out to greet the girls and boys of Junior Infants.

They were accompanied by their proud parents and a tear or two was shed as they began their educational journey at St. Joseph’s.

A historic and happy day for St. Joseph’s! Here are some photographs of the day……..

20200827_100235    20200827_100242  20200827_100230  20200827_10135720200827_100440

Open letter from Acting Chief Medical Officer to parents and guardians of school children and to teachers and affiliated school staff


Please find a letter below published by the HSE on 31/08/2020 from the Acting Chief Medical Officer.

To parents and guardians of school children in Ireland,


I am very aware that many of you are worried about the reopening of schools and the associated risk of COVID-19 for your children. This concern is natural and is to be fully expected after a period of six months during which we have all had to adapt to the challenges posed by COVID-19.


The decision to reopen schools has not been taken lightly and has been based on guidance produced by international bodies including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC); scientific evidence regarding the risk of COVID-19 in school children and staff; the experience of other countries that have not closed, or have reopened, their schools; our own experience having reopened childcare settings and summer camps since June; and evidence regarding the importance of school for the overall health and wellbeing of children.


International evidence shows us that child-to-child and child-to-adult transmission of COVID-19 in schools is uncommon. In addition, our own experience to date in Ireland, and indeed that reported internationally, demonstrates that for the overwhelming majority of children who are diagnosed with COVID-19, their symptoms will be mild.


The importance of schools for the overall health and wellbeing of children cannot be overstated, and the risk of COVID-19 has been carefully weighed against the very real harm that can be caused by sustained school closures. Schools play a fundamental role in the social life of children; they are where children are educated, make friends, share interests, learn social skills like self-confidence and empathy, and participate in sport and cultural activities.


Of course, as we continue to navigate our way through this pandemic, there are no zero risk options for reopening schools or indeed any other environment; the aim, therefore, is to reopen in as safe a way as possible by ensuring that all appropriate public health measures such as physical distancing, hand washing and respiratory hygiene are implemented where appropriate.


Schools are at the heart of our communities and the best way to protect them is to keep the level of COVID-19 in the community low. As parents and guardians, you can play a key role in this, both through your own actions and through the influence that you have on your family and friends. If all of us continue to make small changes to the way we live, we can – together – starve this virus of opportunities to transmit.


While it is okay to send your child to school or childcare if they only have a runny nose or a sneeze, if you have any concerns that your child has symptoms of COVID-19 – fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell – then please keep them at home until you have spoken with your GP by phone. Lots more information is available at and


There will be cases of COVID-19 among children over the coming days and weeks, as there have been throughout this pandemic to date. But when this happens our public health teams in the HSE will respond and liaise closely with the school involved and ensure that all necessary measures are taken to protect other students and school staff.


Finally, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for all you have done to keep your family and our communities safe over the past seven months. I also want to thank all teachers, principals and school staff who have worked so hard to ensure that our schools are ready to reopen – it is just one more example of the incredible solidarity that has defined the way in which people all across the country have come together to play their part in getting us through this pandemic.



Dr. Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health.