Covid-19: 24 new outbreaks associated with schools last week

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Covid-19: 24 New Outbreaks Associated With Schools Last Week
The increasing number of people returning to the workplace continues to be a concern for health officials. Photo: Paul Faith / AFP via Getty Images
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There were 404 outbreaks of Covid-19 identified by the Health Protections and Surveillance Centre (HPSC) last week, including 24 new outbreaks associated with school children and staff.

The overall number of outbreaks identified between March 22nd-28th increased by 65 compared to the previous week. However, 95 of the outbreaks notified last week were late notifications.

There were four new outbreaks identified in acute hospital settings and two in nursing homes, marking a decrease from March 15th-21st of seven and one respectively.

Comparing the number of outbreaks in nursing home settings last week to earlier this year also shows the impact of vaccination, with the number falling by 21 in a seven-week period.

Childcare

Meanwhile, 16 new outbreaks were associated with childcare facilities, an increase of eight compared to the week before, while outbreaks associated with school pupils and staff increased by 16 in the same period.

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Earlier this week, the National Public Health Emergency Team's (Nphet) Professor Philip Nolan said there "continues to be very few cases associated with outbreaks in school" adding there was a higher chance of a child picking up the virus at home.

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Outbreaks associated with workplaces are a continuing concern for health officials, with data suggesting the number of people attending work in person is continuing to drift upwards despite continued messages to work from home.

Last week, 19 outbreaks notified were associated with workplaces, an increase of five from the previous week.

The largest source of outbreaks last week was private household settings, accounting for 272 of the total figure, which does not included outbreaks among third-level students.

There were also 22 outbreaks among extended families, eight community outbreaks and three outbreaks linked to social gatherings.

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