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10 cases of Covid-19 detected in mandatory hotel quarantine

Contact tracing also found that people most commonly mentioned shopping and work as possible sources of transmission.

Image: Sam Boal

A TOTAL OF 10 cases of Covid-19 have been detected in mandatory hotel quarantine settings since testing began in the facilities on 26 March.

Data released by the HSE today shows that 413 quarantine residents and 149 hotel staff have been swabbed during this time. 

The scope of the testing includes:

  • Testing of passengers arriving into Ireland from ‘category two’ “high-risk” countries on Day zero and Day 10,
  • Testing of passengers arriving into Ireland from ‘category one’ countries that have not been able to produce a negative result,
  • Testing of quarantine hotel staff on a weekly basis.

Community transmission

The HSE also said today that a source investigation found that people who catch Covid-19 in a community setting most commonly mention shopping and the workplace as possible sources of transmission.

In recent weeks, Ireland’s contact tracers have begun retracing the movements of confirmed community transmission cases for seven days prior to the onset of symptoms.

The goal of the investigation is to identify the source of infection and other contacts who might have been exposed to the virus at the same time.

Source investigation was required in a total of 787 cases since the probe began on 31 March. Around 60% of these cases resided in Dublin.

‘Shopping’ was by far the most common activity listed by the cases, with 56% of people listing it as a possible source of transmission.

‘Workplace’ was the second most common, being mentioned by 15% of people.

Other common possible sources were ‘school’, ‘transport’, ‘travel’ and ‘social gatherings outdoors’.

Less commonly mentioned sources were ‘cafes indoors’, ‘birthday parties’, ‘personal care appointments’, ‘weddings’ and ‘funerals’.

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Speaking at a press conference today, the HSE’s National lead for Covid-19 Testing and Tracing, Niamh O’Beirne, said this finding does not mean that shops were the sources of transmission, rather lots of people happened to have been in shops in the previous 48-hours.

O’Beirne added that public health doctors are not concerned about shops as transmission sources.

The source investigation has led to the identification of some additional outbreaks since it was introduced at the end of March. The HSE said work is ongoing to refine and analyse the data it has generated.

With reporting by Michelle Hennessy

About the author:

Céimin Burke

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