Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia in China

Friday, January 31st, 2020

At Giraffe, safeguarding the health and well-being of our children and staff is our priority. In light of the current outbreak of the novel coronavirus pneumonia in China, we have put together some information, all of which is based on HSE advice.

Currently there are no confirmed cases in Ireland and that the public health risk is low . However, with the Chinese New Year holidays coming to a close, there is anticipated increase of travel from affected areas. If your family is travelling, we would like to urge you to take note of Government travel advice to countries that are affected. There are precautions in place at airports and screening is taking place where necessary.

As always, we will remain vigilant in our health, hygiene and hand washing practices and will be monitoring the health of our children and staff. We would ask that parents and staff advise us of any travel to affected countries and consider the onset time for symptoms may be two weeks or more. We will require them to seek medical attention if they feel unwell and inform their doctor of their travel history.

In addition to monitoring the situation closely, our staff will ensure the following is in place for both children and staff as advised by the HSE and HPSC:

Observe high levels of personal hygiene

  • Wash hands frequently with soap, especially before eating or handling food, after toilet visits, or when hands are contaminated by respiratory secretions after coughing or sneezing.
  • Cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when sneezing or coughing, and to discard the tissue immediately into a bin.
  • No sharing of food/ drinks/ utensils, toothbrushes or towels with others

Ensure good environmental hygiene

  • Keep the centre environment clean.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, toys and equipment regularly and when contaminated by nasal or oral secretions.
  • Ensure supplies such as hand soap, tissues, and paper towels are available for children and staff’s use.

Monitor health and seek medical attention promptly

  • Vigilance in recognising early symptoms of illnesses, increase in temperature or changes in behaviour for unwell children and staff.
  • Report to the Public Health Body immediately if there is a suspect case of respiratory illness (runny nose, coughs) or fever and there is a travel history to China within 14 days before onset of symptoms.
  • Suspected cases of the virus should not attend the centre.

To help us minimise the risk of infections and support the well-being of our children, we also seek your understanding and support in observing the following; together with your children:

  • Inform us of any travel plans to any affected areas;
  • Practice good personal hygiene and frequent hand washing with soap;
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell or showing symptoms of illness;
  • Monitor your family’s health closely and seek medical attention promptly if you or your family are feeling unwell;

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will be implementing additional measures if the situation escalates.

Useful resources:

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