DES tonight released guidelines in relatiom to Covid-19 Assessment and testing pathway for younger children (≥3 months – 13 years)
Once the child has been collected from school, the parents should contact their GP by phone if the child has symptoms of concern, and/or symptoms consistent with Covid-19 infection e.g. fever OR a new cough, shortness of breath, deterioration of existing respiratory condition OR symptoms of ageusia or dysgeusia.
Their GP will assess and advise as per normal clinical practice and refer for testing as required and outlined in here.
Testing is advised for any child who meets the testing criteria unless there is a strong clinical reason to do otherwise.
Covid-19 test results remain confidential as per doctor – patient relationship. No other child, parent, family or teacher will be informed of their results.
However, parents should be advised at the point of testing that their child’s swab test result if Covid-19 detected will likely need to be shared with the educational facility, if this is deemed necessary by the Medical Officer of Health, for the safe management of any potential outbreak.
Only details as necessary for safe onward management are shared with an agreed senior person in the school, such that appropriate public health actions can be undertaken.
Covid 19 Test Results
Covid19 not detected result: If a symptomatic child has a Covid19 ‘not detected’ result, the child should remain at home until he/she is clinically well enough to return to school, unless parents are specifically asked by HSE Public Health for their child to remain excluded because of other investigations e.g. if the child is a known close contact of a now confirmed case. All diarrhoea symptoms need to have been resolved for 48 hours prior to return to school.
Confirmed cases of Covid19: Confirmed cases will be contacted directly by the contact tracing centres a contact identification and case information and will be initiated.
The case will be referred to the Medical Officer of Health within the regional Public Health Department, for onward Public Health Risk Assessment (PHRA) and management in this setting. The Medical Officer of Health (Consultant in Public Health Medicine, MOH), and teams will liaise directly with the school and inform them of the confirmed case as necessary; will undertake a Public Health Risk Assessment to inform any further actions and recommendations by the Medical Officer of Health.
The MOH has statutory responsibility (Appendix 1) under the Infectious Diseases regulations, 1981, as amended to investigate and manage infectious disease sources.