Covid-19: Use of school/centre facilities by public health authorities - DES advice

By piofficer, Wednesday, 1st April 2020 | 0 comments

We have been asked by a number of members if schools/colleges/centres can make available to the public health authorities such equipment and/or facilities as may be of use in dealing with the Covid-19 emergency. Many of the questions related to personal protective equipment (PPE).

The Department of Education and Skills has now issued the following advice to schools in this regard.

School buildings

Where school management has opted to continue with the school meals programme, school buildings can be used, if necessary, to facilitate operations relating to distribution.

We are aware that some schools have been approached regarding the use of their buildings or other facilities to contribute towards efforts to combat the spread of the virus. Any positive contributions that can be made by the sector to help in the current crisis are very welcome.

However, where schools have been approached by the HSE or other state organisations requesting the use of their facilities to assist with limiting the impact of Covid-19, schools must first consider the length of the time the school will be required by the HSE or other organisations and any impact on the reopening of the school to staff and pupils should also be considered in responding to such requests.

If you have queries in regard to a request by a State body to use your school, please email schoolproperty@education.gov.ie  to discuss in advance. The Department will endeavour to respond as quickly as possible.

In addition, the Planning and Building Unit will engage in the coming weeks with the relevant School Patrons and management to develop and implement contingency arrangements in the event of an impact on the delivery of necessary school accommodation for the 2020/21 school year as a result of the COVID-19.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

If your school has personal protective equipment (PPE) that it not required at present, this can be offered to the Office of Government Procurement (OGP), which is coordinating all offers of this nature so that equipment can be deployed across emergency services if required. This can be done here www.gov.ie/covidsupplies

The Union will provide updates as and when they become available.

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