NPHET to consider mandatory masks for primary school children
"Please wear masks in primary schools"
NPHET is set to discuss mandatory mask wearing for primary school pupils at its meeting today.
The Covid-19 incidence rate is the highest in primary school children.
According to reports, 5,374 coronavirus infections were confirmed in 5-12-year-olds.
The current incidence rate in this cohort stands at 978.
It is believed some members of NPHET think mask-wearing in schools will help suppress the current wave of infection.
According to The Irish Times, the Government has no plans to introduce new measures this week.
The government will consider the measure next week if NPHET recommends mask-wearing in primary schools.
Speaking to Newstalk, Dr. Ronan Glynn told Pat Kenny that schools are not as safe as they once were.
He explained, "What I would fully accept is that schools are not as safe now as they were when incidence was lower a number of months ago."
“No environment is as safe now as it was then. And we’ve said all along that when incidence is really high in the community, as it is at the moment, then schools are not as safe as they would otherwise be," he added.
Dr. Glynn stressed, "We’ve never said that schools are a safe environment, we’ve said they’re a lower-risk environment.”
Immunologist Luke O'Neill called for mask-wearing to be introduced to schools earlier this summer.
He told RTÉ's Brendan O'Connor that this would significantly reduce infection rates in the community.
“If it was 30pc effective in primary school kids you would do it, as that would have a significant impact,” he shared.
“It’s a surprise to me [that they aren’t being worn], but it’s tricky for teachers, no more than parents, to impose it on that age group. But still, I would say please wear masks in primary schools because they know that masks work,” O'Neill stressed.