THE Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been notified of 1,355 confirmed cases of Covid-19.
As of 8am today, 286 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 59 are in ICU.
Dr Tony Holohan, chief medical officer, Department of Health said:
‘Our ongoing analysis of the epidemiological situation has informed the Nphet recommendation to evolve public health management of school settings from Monday next.
‘The resumption of in-person education was associated with a significant increase in the numbers of children referred for testing in recent weeks. This increase was driven by the screening of asymptomatic children who had been identified as close contacts. This action was precautionary and was due to the diligence of parents and guardians bringing their children for tests. Despite significantly increased testing in this age group, there has only been a relatively modest increase in the detection of cases. We have also seen the associated positivity rate decrease from 16% to 5% which is very reassuring.
‘Both nationally and internationally, the evidence tells us that schools are a low risk setting for the transmission of Covid-19 among school-going children and, as such, now is the right time to evolve our contact tracing approach, while maintaining the infection prevention and control in place in educational settings.
‘NPHET will continue to monitor the trajectory of the disease. It is important that we all continue to adhere to the public health guidance and to protect each other by washing our hands, the wearing of masks where appropriate and by keeping our distance from each other to limit the risk of the spread of Covid-19.
‘I would urge parents to keep children who are unwell and who experience the common symptoms of Covid-19 home from school and to contact your GP if you have any concerns.’