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Clare students ‘not at risk’ of coronavirus following Italian ski trips

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Three secondary schools attended by Clare students that have recently returned from Italy have received advice for fears they are at risk of the coronavirus.

On Wednesday, the first case of the coronavirus was confirmed in South America as the outbreak continues to spread around the world. The deadly infection has now reached every continent besides Antarctica. Globally, at least 80,000 people have been diagnosed with the illness.

Gort Community College, St Caimin’s Community School and Rice College all had students and staff in Italy on school trips during the mid-term break last week. Measures have since been taken to ensure neither staff or students are posing health risks.

40 students and seven teachers from St Caimin’s in Shannon returned to school on Monday having spent time in Northern Italy. The school has since been advised by the health service that as their tour groups were not in one of the quarantined towns in the last 14 days, they will not be screened.

Similar correspondence has been issued to Rice College. 55 students and five teachers from the Ennis school were also on a skiing trip in Northern Italy. They have been informed there is no need to “self isolate”. They were tested when arriving in Italy for the virus but not on their travels home.

Students and staff of Gort Community College who also were in Italy for a ski trip have been classed as “very low risk” and as such there is no necessity for them to be tested for the virus. “As a precautionary measure and following advice from the HSE and the Public Health Consultant, all students and staff who travelled to Italy on the recent school ski trip and who display any flu/cold symptoms, high temperature, coughs, sore throat, shortness of breath should contact their GP,” read a notice issued to parents/guardians whose children attend the South Galway school.

Meanwhile, an Ennis man living in China has said he has no intentions of leaving Wuhan despite the city being in lockdown for the past five weeks. Public transport has been stopped, people have been asked to stay in their homes and are now permitted to leave the confines of their community.

Liam Griffey has been teaching English in Wuhan for the past three years. Speaking on Clare FM’s Morning Focus, he outlined that they are no longer permit to shop in supermarkets, food and necessities are now being purchased through WeChat which is the Chinese equivalent to WhatsApp and Facebook, plus online via retailer’s sites.

“It is not overly frustrating, I have began online classes for my university which is breaking up the day. I get to walk my dogs around the community which is good. It is boring, monotonous, being in the same place all the time but there is not anything I can do, I don’t see why I would get upset about it”.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, and A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to -

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