December 7, 2021
Education Minister should revisit her approach to COVID in schools- Sheehan

Sinn Féin MLA Pat Sheehan has said the education minister must revisit her approach to managing COVID in schools and has said that air filtration and proper ventilation is key to ensuring our schools can remain open safely in the time ahead.

The West Belfast MLA said:

“In recent weeks schools have come under significant pressure due to rising COVID cases and staff and pupil absences.

“The discovery of a new variant may also present new challenges so I would urge the Minister to revisit her approach to COVID in schools.

”High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters remove contaminants such as viruses from the air, reducing airborne transmission in classrooms with poor ventilation.

“It is clear that HEPA filtration is one of a number of mitigations which could help make our classrooms safer.

“The Minister has dithered and delayed on ventilation for too long. It is crunch time for our schools. I am calling on the Minister today, to act urgently to examine the provision of HEPA air filtration for all of our classrooms.

“The Minister keeps telling us she wants to keep schools open. We agree, but she has to be willing to do what it takes and that means HEPA filters in all of our classrooms, not just some of them. 

“Sinn Féin will continue to work to ensure the safety of our children and young people as well as our school staff.” Críoch/Ends

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