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The Department of Education has issued guidance to educational settings on safe working during the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.

The document covers a number of areas including:

  • The strategy for infection prevention and control to facilitate safe working;
  • guidance regarding the specific circumstances in which personal protective equipment (PPE) should be used; and
  • measures to support specific areas of concern in respect of children with underlying medical needs; Special Educational Needs and safeguarding needs.

A spokesperson for the Department of Education said: “Keeping our children and staff safe in educational settings is of vital importance. This guidance applies to staff working in all educational settings in Northern Ireland, together with the children, young people and pupils who attend these settings and their parents or carers.

“There are important actions that everyone can take during the coronavirus outbreak to help prevent the spread of the virus in educational settings. Good hand and respiratory hygiene, including covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough, are essential. In addition, it is important to minimise contact with individuals who are unwell and ensure surfaces and buildings are cleaned regularly.

“The guidance also covers the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) which is only needed in a very small number of cases such as those pupils who have specific physical or medical care needs.

“We will continue to provide updated guidance and advice to schools as we move towards the eventual reopening of schools.”