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contact tracing

Most common number of close contacts in Ireland is now 3 as positivity declines

The figure was confirmed by the HSE this morning.

THE MOST COMMON number of close contacts that a person who tests positive for Covid-19 in Ireland now has is 3. 

The figure was confirmed by the HSE this morning. 

It comes after a difficult week for Ireland’s Test & Trace system but could be an early sign that Covid-19 restrictions are working. 

HSE CEO Paul Reid said this morning that the positivity rate in testing continues to decline and that most close contacts identified by Public Health teams are in households. “Still very early but good,” Reid said, on Twitter. “We’re all part of the solution. Let’s keep going.”

Approximately 115,000 tests have been carried out over the last 7 days. The positivity rate is now 6.2%, according to the Department of Health. 

The positivity rate was at 6.9% on Thursday and at 7.3% on Monday. 

Meanwhile, the average number of close contacts for all cases – including complex cases with a large number of contacts – is now 4.4.

The HSE earlier this week said it will ask more than 2,000 people who received a positive Covid-19 test result last week to alert their own close contacts due to “unprecedented pressure” on Ireland’s contact tracing system. 

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly later said he had been given assurances by the HSE that this “one-off” decision would not be repeated. 

Health officials last night confirmed a further 859 cases of Covid-19, bringing the standing total of confirmed cases to 56,108.

The Department of Health also reported an additional four deaths. 

The country has been under Level 5 restrictions since Thursday.

The restrictions, which are due to last for six weeks, place strict limits on social activities, with some exceptions.

Visitors are not allowed to homes, indoors or outdoors, but one household can meet with another household outside in an area other than at their homes.

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