7. Managing the risk of spread of COVID-19 

a. Wash your Hands Frequently

Regular hand washing with soap and water is effective for the removal of COVID-19.
Follow the HSE guidelines on handwashing —


Pupils and Staff should perform hand hygiene —

• On entering the building
• Before eating or drinking
• After using the toilet
• After playing outdoors
• When their hands are physically dirty
• When they cough or sneeze

b. Hand Hygiene and Hand Sanitisers

Hand hygiene can also be achieved by the use of hand sanitisers (when hands are clean).
Hand sanitisers are more readily deployed to avoid disruption to teaching and learning and to avoid congestion of staff and pupils waiting to use hand washing facilities.
They are available at entry and exit points and in each classroom.

c.  Avoid Touching Eyes, Nose and Mouth

Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth.

d. Physical Distancing

Physical distancing is recommended to reduce the spread of infection in the workplace.
Junior Infants- Second Class- no social distancing required.
3rd Class – 6th Class 1m between pods or 1m between pupils if possible
The Arc Classes are considered a single pod.
Lining up in the yard -all yard markings are 1m apart.

e. Practice respiratory hygiene

Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your bent elbow when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.

By following good respiratory hygiene, you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and Covid-19.

Good hygiene practices and washing your hands properly and regularly can help stop the spread of the virus. It is, therefore, crucial that all staff adhere to this advice and adopt the following practices as strictly as possible.

f. Do

• Wash your hands properly and often
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze
• Put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

g. Do Not

• Touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
• Share objects that touch your mouth – for example, bottles, cups, cutlery, etc

h. People at Very High Risk (Extremely Vulnerable)

Current public health guidelines have identified groups who are defined as being at very high risk. The HSE has set out these groups, which include people who:
The list of people in very high risk groups include people who —

• are over 70 years of age – even if you’re fit and well
• have had an organ transplant
• are undergoing active chemotherapy for cancer
• are having radical radiotherapy for lung cancer
• have cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
• are having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
• are having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
• have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
• severe respiratory conditions including cystic fibrosis, severe asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, lung fibrosis, interstitial lung disease and severe COPD
• have a condition that means you have a very high risk of getting infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell)
are taking medicine that makes you much more likely to get infections (such as high doses of steroids or immunosuppression therapies)
• have a serious heart condition and you are pregnant

The advice for this group is available from the HSE. Staff who are in this group should self-declare on the Return to Work form if they believe that they are at very high risk. Details of the leave arrangements that will apply will be updated by the Department of Education and Skills.

If the Board/Principal is unsure whether or not staff fall into the very high-risk category, advice will be sought from the Occupational Health Service.


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