Meath creche closes after children test positive for Covid-19

ireland
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Louise Walsh

A Meath creche at the centre of five Covid-19 cases has now been temporarily closed following advice from local health authorities.

It comes after three children and two staff members at the Daoine Oga Community Childcare Centre in Navan all tested positive for the Coronavirus in the last week.

Management had already closed three of the eight rooms at the facility but have shut the entire centre this morning in following with a recommendation from the public health officer. The facility is to fully reopen on August 18th.

The three children who are siblings are asymptomatic while the two adults who tested positive showed very mild symptoms.

All children at the facility had been split into pods of up to eight children with two staff as part of Covid-19 measures since reopening in June.

Meanwhile delays at testing some children at the centre have been described as 'concerning' by top immunologist with Maynooth University Professor Paul Moynagh

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He said that a delay in almost a week of testing is of 'little or no value'

"It is very concerning if direct contacts of confirmed cases are not being immediately contacted and tested as part of the test and trace system operated by the HSE," he said.

"If the test and trace system is not done with speed, it is wholly ineffective.

Ideally the time period from referral of a suspected case to test confirmation and tracing of contacts should be one to two days. Any period beyond this time loses effectiveness.

"A delay of a week in tracing of direct contacts leads to little or no value. During that week, an infected contact may have infected secondary contacts that in turn could have infected tertiary contacts."

Test and trace

"Recently we have been told, including at the Oireachtas Covid Committee, that we now have a robust test and trace system - this is not robust if there are delays of up to a week.

"We need to look beyond the metric of a number of tests being performed. If not done with speed, we are wasting an opportunity to suppress transmission of the virus and we are also wasting valuable resources."

CEO of the creche Marie Daly confirmed on Tuesday that she had closed the facility this morning following the advice and all parents and staff had been notified on Monday evening.

"Following advice from the Public Health Officer, we have closed the creche until August 18th and all parents and staff have been notified.

"We have always followed all guidelines and advice given to us from all the relevant bodies since the first staff member tested positive and we have always kept staff and parents up to date with the situation."

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