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Schools should remain shut for January, says Deputy Mc Guinness

The Carlow Kilkenny TD is calling for a decision to be made today on when schools will reopen

A local government TD says schools should be closed until the end of January at least.

John Mc Guinness says an official announcement needs to be made today to give parents clarity.

Senior Ministers are meeting this afternoon to discuss whether schools should reopen at all this month.

Deputy McGuinness says it’s becoming obvious that a decision has to be made, and soon;

“It would be wise to leave the schools closed until January at least” he told KCLR News. “I think there’s a lot of concern among parents and teachers, so we have to take the prudent step. The announcement should be made sooner rather than later though, because people are planning now for a return to schools. The management in schools are preparing for that return, students and parents are also preparing. So everyone needs clarity on this, and they need it now.”

The Chief Medical Officer admits he’s also concerned about the big increase in covid cases among school children.

Latest figures show the incidence rate is 284 cases per 100 thousand among teenagers, and 142 per 100 thousand among 5 to 12 year olds.

Dr Tony Holohan says the trends are worrying;

“We certainly never said that children don’t get this infection. They do get it, but not to the same extent as the rest of the population. If you look at those rates, we did raise concern at the press conference last night that they’re rising very quickly. They’re still less than the average rates for the whole population.”