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24th Aug 2021

Children with stuffy noses should ‘stay home from school’ according to INTO

Trine Jensen-Burke

Children with stuffy noses should 'stay home from school' according to INTO

Never mind a fever or a cough – it seems we’ll have to keep our kids home from school for a lot less this semester.

Due to the novel Delta variant of the coronavirus currently in circulation in Ireland, children should not be attending school if they have a stuffy nose – and other, more uncommon symptoms of Covid-19 according to John Boyle, general secretary of the primary school teachers’ union, INTO.

Speaking on Sunday to RTÉ’s This Week ahead of schools going back next week, Boyle discussed the current Covid-19 response plan and revealed that things are about to get a little trickier for parents this school year, as there are some new symptoms to be aware of that might force your child to stay at home and out of school until they are gone.

According to Boyle, these new symptoms include a blocked nose or sore throat, which children were previously allowed to attend school with.

“Children can have sore throats, headaches, runny or stuffy nose,” Boyle explained.

“They can be feeling sick or vomiting (or have) diarrhoea. Up until the summer, children could go to school with those symptoms. You cannot now go if you have any of those uncommon symptoms or the common symptoms ( more usually associated with COVID-19).”

Boyle also highlighted the conflicting advice about people who are at risk returning to work. He said that although everyone is being urged to avail of their free COVID-19 vaccine, those who cannot get it, such as those in the early stages of pregnancy, are also being told that it is safe for them to return to work. He added that his union had asked the Department of Education if those who are vulnerable could remain at home until they can be vaccinated.

‘It is a very much declining number of workers. It is not like before the summer where every pregnant teacher was allowed to stay off.’