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24th Nov 2021

Antigen testing to begin in schools from Monday

Katy Thornton

This is in retaliation to the recent surge in Coronavirus cases.

Minister for Education Norma Foley confirmed this morning that an antigen testing regime was to be implemented in schools from Monday. The specifics of this regime have yet to be announced. According to The Journal, Foley said:

The CMO has now determined there is a role for antigen testing in our schools as an additional tool in our schools. It will be operational from the 29th, which is next Monday. All guidance will be made to schools this week and to parents also.

However, antigen testing will not be mandatory, and it is ultimately up to the parents if they want their child tested.

According to The Journal, government policy states: “It is not mandatory for children to participate in antigen testing. Children who are in a pod where a child has tested positive for Covid-19 can continue to attend school, whether they participate in antigen testing or not, provided that they are not experiencing symptoms of Covid-19.

Currently many teachers are out sick with Covid-19, or are isolating. This has created huge pressure on the education system, as there have been outbreaks of Covid-19 within schools. The General Secretary of the Irish National Teacher’s Association, John Boyle, believes the reintroduction of contact tracing within schools could ease this burden.

Header image via Shutterstock 

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