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There are 2,475 'open' outbreaks of Covid-19 in Ireland with 522 new outbreaks notified last week

The HPSC published its latest report on outbreaks and clusters in Ireland this morning.
Oct 15th 2020, 11:45 AM 27,506 33

ACROSS THE COUNTRY, there were 522 outbreaks of Covid-19 last month with the majority of clusters originating from private households.

It brings the total number of outbreaks since the arrival of the pandemic to 4,957. Of these, 2,475 remain “open” according to the Health Protection and Surveillance Centre (HPSC).

For an outbreak to be considered “closed”, there must be 28 days from the last case diagnosed or becoming symptomatic.

An outbreak is defined by the HSE as either two or more confirmed cases of Covid-19 in a particular setting. Or it can also refer to two or more cases of illness with symptoms consistent with Covid-19 where at least one person is a confirmed case.

table 1 Source: HPSC

In the week to midnight on 10 October, there were 352 outbreaks in private households. During the pandemic to date, there have been 3,532 outbreaks in such settings.

New restrictions announced by government will see people advised not to visit other households for the next three weeks. Today, Minister Simon Harris referred to it as a potential “game changer” in reversing the rapid spread of the virus across the country.

The latest statistics also show 25 outbreaks in schools, bringing the total to 73.

The HPSC, however, stressed: “These outbreaks are outbreaks associated with school children +/or school staff. Transmission of Covid-19 within the school has not necessarily been established in these outbreaks.”

A further 11 outbreaks were identified in nursing homes, with a total of 40 open outbreaks in nursing homes in the country. 

In the workplace, there were 23 outbreaks notified in the last week, including one in a meat processing plant and five in the construction industry. The number of open workplace outbreaks is 99. 

Childcare facilities were linked to 15 outbreaks in the last week, while restaurants/cafes were linked to seven and pubs to four. 

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Among populations/settings identified as vulnerable, there were no cases last week in the Roma community, in Direct Provision Centres or in prisons. However, eight outbreaks were notified from among the Irish Traveller Community. 

Last night, health officials confirmed 1,095 new cases of Covid-19 in Ireland – the highest daily total recorded.

The message from these officials was clear.

Deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn said: “People must now make choices.

Stop meeting up in groups, stop socialising, stop organising play dates, parties and other social activities. People must recognise that the disease is a direct threat to themselves and their families. Now is the time for each of us to act.

Speaking later in the evening as Monaghan, Cavan and Donegal were moved to Level 4 of restrictions, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that more counties were likely to follow suit based on current trends. 

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