Words: Eva O’Beirne
One in eight of all Covid-19 infection clusters reported in the second half of 2021 were in schools, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre has reported.
According to figures by the HPSC, schools accounted for the largest single setting of Covid-19 outbreaks other than private homes since the end of June, accounting for twelve per cent of clusters. Private homes represented nearly a quarter of infections while retail outlets accounted for less than four per cent.
Social gatherings caused 2.9 per cent of the 4,102 Covid outbreaks reported.
Earlier this week. the ASTI secondary teachers union called for a delayed and staggered approach to re-opening schools due to concerns around Omicron and high case numbers amongst staff and students.
To address these concerns, Minister for Education, Norma Foley, met with education stakeholders to assess the situation and to see whether remote learning was suitable. This meeting was held online, but in-person learning resumed today.
In response, the Socialist Party have organised an online meeting this Friday for students to discuss the Covid-19 situation in schools and whether the Leaving Certificate should be cancelled.
In order to reduce demand for PCR tests, CEO of the HSE, Paul Reid, has confirmed that people will be able to upload their antigen test results and record them with the health service by the end of next week. 23,817 cases were reported today – a new record high.
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