DESPITE online rumours and speculation over the weekend, the Herald can confirm the entire group of St Kevin’s College students and staff that returned from a skiing trip in Italy at the weekend is now self-isolating.
The group of 35 student and five adults from the Lisnaskea school flew out to Verona in the Veneto region of northern Italy on Saturday, February 22nd, which is one of the areas badly impacted by the spread of the coronavirus. However, the disease had not emerged in the region until after the group had arrived. On top of that, the group spent the majority of the trip in another region, Trentino, which has not been as badly affected.
Fr John Chester was among those on the trip, and is vice-chairman of the St Kevin’s board of governors. He said they had kept parents at home updated at all times.
“We were getting our information from the Public Health Agency, and we were also getting it from CCMS, and we were following best practice with hand hygiene,” he told the Herald. “We also had disinfectants and hand santisiers with us at all times and we had snoods that you use in skiing to protect faces.”
Fr Chester, pictured left, stressed school principal Gary Kelly had been in regular contact with parents throughout the trip, and on their return, and they had decided together to self-isolate.
“The Public Health Agency said if children were not symptomatic they could go to school, they could attend. But the principal advised them they should take the 14 days off,” he said. “We were unable to stop any child from attending school, the Public Health Agency said that. Staff as well as pupils are also going to adhere to the 14 days.”
Chairman of the board of governors, Cllr Thomas O’Reilly said the school was currently operating normally as a result, and praised the parents for their decision to keep their children at home.
“The parents are being responsible not only for their children and their family, but also to the rest of the community, both the college community and the wider community,” he said.
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