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COVID-19: 1,355 New Cases In I...

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COVID-19: 1,355 New Cases In Ireland

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

05:39 23 Sep 2021


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There have been 1,355 further confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) says there are 286 patients hospitalised with the virus - of which 59 are in ICU.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan says now is the right time to change contact tracing in primary schools.

"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."

Dr Holohan adds the positivity rate has fallen dramatically.

"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."

Meanwhile childcare providers are warning the decision to allow asymptomatic children who are close contacts of COVID-19 cases to remain in creches will result in increased closures this winter.

Elaine Dunne, chairperson of the Federation of Early Childhood Providers, said earlier they were "shocked" and "disappointed" at the decision.

She said: "We are the ones that opened up our doors last June to look after frontline and essential workers.

"Now we're going to be forced to close our doors - that's going to happen quite quickly, I think, at this point in time.

"It's just going to be a free-for-all - it's going to spread fast and wide. We're digesting what has happened... we're not happy about it, and providers are very concerned."


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