Antigen testing will be offered to primary school students by end of November
Covid-19 rapid result antigen tests are set to be made available to primary school students in Laois and other counties if a child in a pod tests positive for Covid-19.
Parents and guardians will be asked to inform the school principal of a positive Covid result, and the principal will inform parents of the other children in the specific pod.
Minister for Education Norma Foley said the testing will be offered to an entire class if two or more positive cases arise in a single class during a seven day period outside of the original pod.
The HSE will set up a call centre to facilitate parents having antigen tests delivered directly to their door.
Minister Foley said the HSE has indicated the process will be fully operational on November 29 or beforehand.
Antigen testing will be free of charge.
She said she does not believe teachers should be exempt from the new 5-day isolation rule for household contacts as it is a 'public requirement' and if it is the best medical advice available 'it must apply to all'.
The new scheme will only apply to primary school students.
"Second-level students benefit from the current system for close contacts in wider society." added Minister Foley.
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