Leitrim school to close early on Friday to facilitate Covid tests

Apr 22, 2021 21:55 By Shannonside News
Leitrim school to close early on Friday to facilitate Covid tests
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The school has now confirmed that six students have tested positive for Covid-19

All third-year students at a Leitrim secondary school are to be Covid tested following a community outbreak.

Drumshanbo Vocational School will close today at 12pm to allow all students over the age of 16 to be tested at a pop up centre in the town opening this afternoon.

A total of 21 Covid cases have been reported in Leitrim so far this week, including nine on Thursday evening.


It's believed the majority of the cases relate to a cluster in the Drumshanbo area, which has resulted in six confirmed cases among students at the local Vocational School.

Earlier this week it moved to online learning for its senior cycle students after four sixth year pupils tested positive, and the school confirmed that all Leaving Certs would be subsequently tested.

Sixth years can also now return to school after a second negative Covid test.


In a new update issued by principal Martin Fallon, the school has now confirmed six students have contracted Covid, and all third year students will be tested and partake in remote learning until it is safe for them to return to school.

A drop in test centre for asymptomatic people is to open at the Mayflower from Friday afternoon, and as a result the school will close at midday on Friday and all students over 16, except third years, who will be tested separately, are urged to get tested.

The school statement concludes by thanking parents for their patience and understanding  during what is described as a  "really unpleasant" time for students.



The statement in full is below

Thursday, April 22
nd 2021
Dear Parent(s) / Guardian(s),
This is an update on the letter posted here yesterday.


The HSE has advised that there are now
six confirmed cases of Covid-19 among students at our school. Following a risk assessment by Public Health Officers, it was initially decided, as a precautionary measure to send all of our Sixth Year students for Covid Tests.

The results of their first tests are back now and after their second negative test they will be able to return to school. The HSE now plan to test all of the Third Year students and a message has been sent to them this evening via TEAMS.

All of our Third Years will have to return to on-line remote learning from tomorrow, until it is deemed safe for them to return to school.


Some parents have queried why we cannot close the school now with the increasing number of
cases in the school and in the region, until this outbreak is over.

We do not have the authority to do that as we have not been advised to do so by HSE Public Health Officials.

However, in-school management does of course fully appreciate the very real concerns of parents and absolutely respect their right to keep their children at home during this very difficult period.

Teachers will do their best to keep all those students electing to stay at home updated on TEAMS, either through live classes or by leaving work.

Whether the classes are live or not will
depend largely on how many are actually present in the school and how many decide to stay at home.

Those students staying at home should log on to their TEAMs accounts every day as in the lockdowns. Those students that do log on will be marked present (Online) in class.

Because of the outbreak in the region, the HSE Public Health are setting up a drop in testing clinic for asymptomatic people to take place in the Mayflower starting on this Friday afternoon.

To facilitate this, we are closing the school at 12 Noon tomorrow. Public Health would urge all students over 16 (except 3rd years who will be called by contact tracers) to attend for a test.

Times will be advertised by the HSE.
Further useful information may be obtained from the HSE web-site, or on the HSE freephone
number : 1850241850.


The staff and I are deeply appreciative of your patience, understanding and Co operation at this very difficult time for our staff and especially for our students. This is a really unpleasant time
for our students.

Even with this nice weather, they cannot enjoy the normal interactions and activities teenagers would be having because of all of the necessary but arduous restrictions.

We all look forward to a return to normality soon.

If there is any relevant or significant update necessary, I’ll post here tomorrow. Otherwise, it'll be next week. 


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