School level

A novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was first identified in 2019 in Wuhan, China. This is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) a public health emergency of international concern. Stay informed with reliable sources. WHO generates daily situation reports on the Coronavirus disease.

Ireland is well positioned to detect and respond to a case of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) that might arise here. The Department of Education has updated guidance for primary and post-primary schools on Covid-19 on their website. For more information, visit the Health Protection Surveillance Centre website or the

What is a virus?

A virus is simply a protein coat surrounding a small quantity of genetic material, such as DNA. Viruses are smaller than bacteria. A virus is a parasite—that is, an organism that depends for its survival on another organism, called its host.

What is the coronavirus?

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. 


COVID-19 is spread through contact with an infected person's body fluids (e.g. droplets from coughing or sneezing), or by touching surfaces that an infected person has coughed or sneezed on.

Regular handwashing and covering your month and nose when you sneeze, or cough, is the most important way to protect from COVID-19. The has some really good tips on how to clean your hands.


The World Health Organisation (WHO) has generated some myth buster questions and posters.

The HSE has respiratory hygiene posters available in Irish and English.

SafeFood Ireland has a child friendly handwashing resource pack.

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