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28th Sep 2021

Parents urged to stop spreading rumours about kids with Covid in WhatsApp groups

Kat O'Connor

The rumours are causing more harm than good.

Parents have been urged to stop naming children with Covid-19 in WhatsApp groups.

The HSE has warned them that they should respect the children and stop gossiping.

They believe these group chats can cause rumours to spread which will only cause more stress for families with sick children.

The HSE warned: ”It is important that children and families do not feel targeted or pressure to release information.”

Parents need to remember “a child’s confidentiality is not broken in line with normal GDPR requirements”.

Posting the name of children who have tested positive is simply uncalled for, the HSE stated.

However, parents have stressed that ending contact tracing and testing in schools will only lead to more rumours.

School principals have been told that there “no clinical need” to tell parents or classmates if there is a positive case.

The HSE has stressed that children with Covid-19 symptoms should stay out of school and their parents should arrange a PCR test for them.

Speaking about the decision to change Covid measures in school, CMO Tony Holohan stated that it is the right time for changes to be made.

“Both nationally and internationally, the evidence tells us that schools are a low-risk setting for the transmission of COVID-19 among school-going children and, as such, now is the right time to evolve our contact tracing approach, while maintaining the infection prevention and control measures in place in educational settings.”

He continued, “We know that parents and teachers are doing an excellent job being mindful of symptoms and arranging tests as per the current public health advice.”

“Despite this increased testing, there has only been a relatively modest increase in the detection of cases in the school-going age group. We have also seen the associated positivity rate recently decrease from 16% to 5% which is very reassuring.”