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To keep schools and childcare facilities open

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Schools and childcare facilities should remain open as per the new regulations imposed by the government to address the increase in Kovid-19 cases.

Announcing the measures, Taoist Michael Martin said, “We will not allow our children’s futures to become another victim of this disease.”

He said the reason for reopening the schools was the extraordinary activities of the entire school community.

They are also at the forefront and deserve the gratitude of the country, he said. “We will continue to work with school leaders to keep them open.”

The decision “recognizes a great deal of evidence from our public health experts that schools are a safe environment for our school communities, children and staff members,” said Education Minister Norma Foley.

The National Public Health Emergency Team has reviewed epidemiological data and recommended that schools be kept within Level 5 regulations, even in the current state of illness.

Minister Foley said 10,513 students and teachers were involved in the group inspection, which found 246 additional cases.

They said there was no significant change in the proportion of total weekly Kovid-19 cases caused by children between the ages of 4 and 18 before and after the schools reopened (14.3% and 14.1%, respectively).

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said he was confident schools, childcare and colleges would be open on the fifth level.

He said he had recently received a detailed report from the Department of Education. “This news from the schools is very good,” especially thanks to the efforts of teachers, principals and students.

Experts say the positivity rate in schools is 1.7% and in the community it is above 7%, making students safer at school than in the community.

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One of the country’s secondary teachers’ unions has called for “immediate engagement” with the education department.

The Teachers’ Union of Ireland said it was particularly concerned about the definition of close contacts and casual contacts in schools, adding that there was a lack of consistency in this regard.

The union also demanded that quick inspections be started in schools.

The Labor Party leader echoed the call for engagement.

Labor leader Alan Kelly welcomed the decision to reopen the schools.

However, there is a need for more strong engagement with those concerned and therefore concerns are heard by teachers or school staff.

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