Two Week Shutdown Over Coronav...


Two Week Shutdown Over Coronavirus Begins

Emma Tyrrell
Emma Tyrrell

07:17 13 Mar 2020

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Schools, colleges and childcare facilities are closed from today, as government measures to stop the spread of coronavirus take effect.

70 people are now confirmed to have the illness, after 27 new cases were announced last night.

One person has died.

Meanwhile the government's trying to find a way to provide childcare for health service workers during the two week closures.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says they haven't yet found the solution;

"A lot of the parents of the children in those schools and in those childcare facilities are healthcare workers and we need them to be able go to work, so again that's something that we are going to have to work on over the next few days."

The Department of Health is advising that grandparents don't take on childminding responsibilities.

It says people over the age of 65 are at a higher risk of getting covid-19.

Assistant Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ronan Glynn, says workers shouldn't be looking to parents while schools and creches are closed;

"People need to be cognisant of the risk that might be entailed by bringing kids to someone who is over 65 or someone who is older with a long term condition."

Meanwhile Early Childhood Ireland has warned some creches could be forced to close permanently if they can't reopen on March 30th.

200,000 children and babies and 30,000 staff working in the sector are affected by the two week closures.

Last night the Department of Children and Youth Affairs confirmed early years funding would be ring fenced.

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