By Carmel Hayes
A COVID-19 case has been confirmed at Heywood Community School in Ballinakill.
The school sent a message to parents and guardians yesterday evening, after a person tested positive for the virus.
The message asked parents of all students in a particular class to keep them home today, Friday 23 October. The school will close for the mid-term break this afternoon.
The message asked students in the class affected to stay at home, to restrict their movements and to wait for contact from the HSE for further guidance. The school said that further details would be issued to parents today.
The message concluded: “Stay calm and follow guidelines.”
The usual procedure when there is a confirmed Covid case at a school in Laois is that the midlands Department of Public Health carries out a full public health risk assessment. The assessment identifies all students and staff who were close contacts of the positive case.
Schools remain open, while close contacts move to remote learning.
Those affected at Heywood are instructed to self-isolate during the mid-term break. The school will issue further details in advance of reopening after the break.
Parents are also advised to watch out for any Covid-19 symptoms in their children and to request a test if they have any concerns.
It is the fifth secondary school in Laois to have a confirmed Covid infecton since schools reopened in September, following similar cases at Dunamase College, Scoil Chríost Rí, Portlaoise College and St Mary’s CBS in Portlaoise.