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HPSC reports 31 new outbreaks associated with schools and 22 in childcare facilities

The largest number of outbreaks continues to be seen in private homes.
Apr 28th 2021, 12:12 PM 31,088 32

THERE WAS AN increase in reported outbreaks associated with schools and childcare facilities last week, with 31 outbreaks among school children or staff and 22 outbreaks in childcare facilities notified to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC).

The overall number of outbreaks last week increased by 62 compared to the previous week, with 312 outbreaks in total reported.

The number of outbreaks in health settings continue to remain in low figures, with just three in acute hospitals, one in a community hospital or long-stay unit and five in residential institutions.

There was an increase in education and childcare settings compared to the previous week.

The HPSC said it was notified last week of 31 outbreaks, with 83 cases in total, associated with school children and/or staff as well as 22 outbreaks, with 43 cases in total, associated with childcare facilities. It was also notified of one outbreak in a university or college setting, with fewer than five cases.

A small number of the cases in these setting notified to the HPSC last week occurred in previous months, with 11 in March, one in January and one in December.

However the total number of outbreaks in school and childcare settings is still an increase on last week, with five outbreaks reported in schools (ten cases in total) and 11 in childcare facilities (26 cases in total).

A number of schools across the country, including one in Kildare, one in Offaly (23 cases) and another in Cork (11 cases), confirmed outbreaks this week.

The largest number of outbreaks continues to be seen in private homes, with 238 notified to the HPSC last week.

The Irish Times reported this afternoon that there is a Covid-19 outbreak at a Bray school that was involved in vaccine controversy last month. 

20 staff members at St Gerard’s School received a Covid-19 vaccine at the Beacon Hospital in March after the CEO of the hospital informed the school of leftover doses.

The paper reports that the school has now been affected by a Covid-19 outbreak, with a number of teachers and students testing positive for Covid-19 in recent days. 

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Elsewhere today, figures show that almost 60% of Irish businesses were claiming Covid-19 income supports at the outbreak of the pandemic.

Research by the Central Statistics Office shows that this dropped to a low of 30% of businesses by September last year.

The CSO published the results of its series on Business Signs of Life: State Supports, which examines changes in the Irish business economy during the Covid-19 crisis.

The results show that in January 2021, 46.6% of businesses had staff availing of either the Wage Subsidy Scheme (WSS) or the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP).

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Michelle Hennessy

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