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Number of Covid 19 outbreaks in schools jumps five-fold in a week

Five outbreaks came from the HSE Mid West area, three from the North West, two from both the South and Midlands, with one each from the East, West and North East.

Pictured a empty Junior Infants classroom ready for first day of school children at Gardiner Street Primary School, Dublin.
Pictured a empty Junior Infants classroom ready for first day of school children at Gardiner Street Primary School, Dublin.
Image: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

NEW FIGURES SHOW that the number of Covid 19 outbreaks in schools rose significantly last week at 15, compared to three the previous week.

Eighty cases linked with those outbreaks were recorded in the week to the 16 of October, according to the latest report from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC).

However the week before (3 to 9 October) saw just 15 confirmed cases linked with those three outbreaks.

The report comes a day after the Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tony Holohan warned of a “concerning” rise in cases, along with hospital and ICU admissions.

Six of last week’s outbreaks came from a primary school, seven from a special education school, one from a post-primary and one more from a “non specified” educational setting.

Five came from the HSE Mid West area, three from the North West, two from both the South and Midlands, with one each from the East, West and North East.

Meanwhile, there were 10 outbreaks at childcare facilities last week.

Outbreak Patterns

Last week’s figure is still down significantly on the end of last month.

Data recorded on the week ending September 25 saw 49 new outbreaks with 304 confirmed cases linked.

That fell sharply at the beginning of October, coinciding with the cutting of contact tracing from schools.

Last week’s school-based case number is likely to include some of the 34 confirmed at a school in County Wexford, which closed to in-person teaching but re-opened yesterday.

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Other settings

Elsewhere, 34 breakouts were recorded in workplace settings, with 120 confirmed cases.

Last week also saw 10 outbreaks in disability centres.

Meanwhile, there were 10 outbreaks at childcare facilities last week.

In total last week, 199 outbreaks or clusters were recorded across the country.

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