Sec 4.2: Procedure for Returning to Work (RTW) & Appendix 6 Checklist for School Management
A RTW form should be completed and returned to the school before returning to work. Schools should request staff (verbally or in writing) to confirm that the details in the pre-return to work form remain unchanged following subsequent periods of closure such as school holidays.
Sec 5: Infection Prevention Control Measures - To prevent Introduction and Spread of COVID-19 in Schools
Staff and pupils will be advised to self-isolate or restrict their movements at home if they display any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 and contact their family doctor to arrange a test.
Staff and pupils will be advised not to return to or attend school in the event of the following:
- if they are identified by the HSE as a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19,
- if they live with someone who has symptoms of the virus,
- If they have travelled outside of Ireland; in such instances staff are advised to consult and follow the latest Government advice in relation to foreign travel.
Sec 5.3: Hand Hygiene
Staff and pupils will use the hand washing facilities after activities that are likely to soil hands, for example playing outside or certain sporting activities as hand sanitiser does not work on dirty hands.
Alcohol-based sanitizers must not be stored or used near heat or naked flame.
Sec 5.4: Physical Distancing Ventilation
The Department has published guidance setting out the practical steps for good ventilation in accordance with public health advice ‘Practical Steps for the Deployment of Good Ventilation Practices in Schools’ The guidance sets out an overall approach 2 for schools that windows should be open as fully as possible when classrooms are not in use (e.g. during break-times or lunch-times (assuming not in use) and also at the end of each school day) and partially open when classrooms are in use. The guidance provides that good ventilation can be achieved in classrooms without causing discomfort, particularly during cold weather.
Sec. 5.5: Use of PPE in Schools
Medical Grade Masks
We will provide medical grade masks in the EN16483 category to all SNAs and teachers in special schools and those staff by necessity that need to be in close and continued proximity with pupils with intimate care need.
Sec 8: Dealing with a Suspected Case of COVID-19
School staff will be encouraged to download the HSE COVID-19 tracker app to assist Public Health for contact tracing purposes both in and out of the school setting.
Sec 9: Staff Duties
Staff will be requested not to return to or attend school in the event of the following:
- if they live with someone who has symptoms of the virus
- If they have travelled outside of Ireland; in such instances staff are advised to consult and follow latest Government advice in relation to foreign travel.
Undergo any COVID-19 testing that may be required in their school as part of mass or serial testing as advised by Public Health.
Sec 11: Employee Assistance Service Information
Employee Assistance Service:
Freephone Helpline 1800 411 057 or text “Hi” to 0873690010 to avail of EAS support on SMS & WhatsApp.
Appendix 2 Pre-Return to Work Form COVID-19
- Are you awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test?
- In the past 14 days, have you been in contact with a person who is a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19?
Appendix 6: Checklist for School Management Staff
- Have you requested confirmation that the details in the pre-return to work form remain unchanged following periods of closure such as school holidays.
- Have you advised staff and pupils not to return to or attend school if they are identified by the HSE as a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19 or if they live with someone who has symptoms of the virus.
- Have you advised staff and pupils not to return or attend school if they have travelled outside of Ireland; in such instances staff are advised to consult and follow latest Government advice in relation to foreign travel.
- Have you advised staff and pupils to cooperate with any public health officials and the school for contact tracing purposes and follow any public health advice in the event of a case or outbreak in the school;
Hand / Respiratory Hygiene
Have you told staff and pupils when they need to wash their hands or use hand sanitiser?
- When entering and exiting vehicles.
- When entering and exiting school buildings Physical Distancing.
Have you checked any mechanical ventilation systems to ensure an adequate supply of fresh air is used.
Appendix 7: Checklist for dealing with a suspected case of COVID-19
A nominated member of the school management team will be responsible for ensuring that all aspects of the protocol to deal with suspected cases have been adhered to.
Appendix 9: Checklist for cleaning
Have you put in place a written cleaning schedule to be made available to cleaning staff including: ¬ Cleaning of frequently touched surfaces such as vending machines, coffee machines and door handles.