Reopening of schools could cause "exponential" Covid growth, warns expert

Reopening Of Schools Could Cause "Exponential" Covid Growth, Warns Expert
Teachers have threatened industrial action over the vaccination priority list.
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James Cox

An infectious diseases expert says pressing ahead with the reopening of schools is likely to create “exponential growth” of Covid-19.

624 more people have tested positive for the virus, and two further deaths have been confirmed.


All primary and secondary students will return to class after the Easter break.

The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) says there's no evidence the level of infection amongst children is because they are back at school.

Professor Gerry Killeen of University College Cork says that position ignores mounting international evidence to the contrary.

Prof Killeen told Newstalk: “All the best evidence, the highest quality evidence, taken from multiple countries — studies in the UK involving nine million adults in households with children — with over 200 countries included, throughout their epidemics, if all that's wrong that would be a surprise.”


HSE chief Paul Reid has described playdates as a “significant issue” in the spread of Covid-19.

Mr Reid said transmission levels within schools were not high but what was causing concern for public health officials was the increased socialising outside the classroom.

“It’s not transmitting highly within a school,” he said.

“What is currently happening is there’s a lot of activity outside of school, and within communities.

“Playdates is very clearly one of the aspects of it coming through, or visits between households, very clear from our public health doctors that it’s a very significant issue.”


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