Dear Parents/Guardians, 

The letter below is addressed to you, the Parents/Guardians of our students, from Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer.  It is important that you read this letter and take cognisance of its content for the continued health and safety of all.

 

Dr Ronan Glynn,
Deputy Chief Medical Officer,
Department of Health
Miesian Plaza,
50 – 58 Lower Baggot Street,
Dublin 2.

26 February 2021

Dear Parent / Guardian,
Thanks to the hard work you put in and your willingness to follow the advice public health over the past two months, we have made real progress on the suppression of a recent outbreak of COVID-19.
Because of that progress, it is possible primary schools, post-primary schools and childcare providers in general start their work on a phased basis now.
The importance of schools to health and well-being cannot be overstated overall children, and the risk of COVID-19 was carefully assessed in face the real harm that lasting school closures do. Schools are at the heart of our community and play a fundamental role in the social life and well-being of our children; that is true especially in the case of children with special educational needs, who are disadvantaged or
they have been disproportionately affected by the school closures over the past year.
Our priority is to ensure a safe return to school for students, their families and your school staff. That is why we recommended a phased return to in-school learning. In making that recommendation, the National Team ‘s main concern is Public Health Emergency (NPHET) is what families and society at large will consider acceptable now there are other forms of mixing and mobility between families. We cannot afford to do that this round. Regardless of the progress we have made,
COVID-19 continues to spread widely in our communities. We need to do our best both individually and collectively to ensure the smallest reduction possible on the reproduction number due to the reopening of the schools. Do not gather at school gates over the coming weeks. Do not have any play appointments and do not organize after-school activities where different families mix together. And continued you have to work from home, except where it is necessary to work somewhere else. It is through the continued support for those measures, and only through that support, is it possible to
we ensure that our children return to and remain in school. I know those are difficult requests. We all – both adults and children – want to reunite with our friends and neighbours and return to normal life.
that is.
We now have three very effective vaccines and hopefully three more are on the way. Over the coming weeks, the elderly and those at high risk will be vaccinated or those in the
very high risk of severe disease and we will see substantial increases in supply from April onwards. We are already seeing the very positive impact of vaccines in our nursing homes and among our healthcare workers. If we can roll out the vaccines and continue to suppress the disease during the months of March and April.
We have other options for mitigating measures and we should be able to do much more to give people certainty about the coming months.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for everything you have done to keep your family and our communities safe over the past year. I would also like to thank the teachers, principals and staff and the whole school who worked so hard to ensure that measures were put in place to restrict the risk of COVID-19 spreading in schools. This work underpinned our national response to COVID-19 and
it is as a result of it that we will achieve the bright days ahead.

With best regards

Dr Ronan Glynn,
Deputy Chief Medical Officer,
Department of Health