School Covid-19 testing to be fast tracked under new plans

School Covid-19 Testing To Be Fast Tracked Under New Plans
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Digital Desk Staff

School staff and students are going to have their Covid-19 test results fast-tracked under new plans.

Laboratories will "red flag" swabs linked to schools following union calls for faster testing and tracing.


Deputy chief medical officer Heather Burns says putting more resources into keeping schools safe is necessary. "I think the amount of effort that is going into schools is proportionate when we think of how important it is to maintain education safely for our children.

"It does have an impact on their overall health and wellbeing and also in terms of ensuring that teachers and school staff are sake as well."

In terms of the overall picture for the country, there have been some signs of improvement recently with a drop in daily cases of Covid-19 over the last week.

In mid-October, Ireland was seeing over 1,000 cases a day while for the past week or so the cases have been under a thousand, with yesterday's figures being 767 new cases.


Daily infections

The Chief Medical Officer says there's still a "long way to go" to reduce the levels of Covid-19 across the country.

Many counties have seen drops in new daily infections with the estimated 14 day incidence rate falling to 248 per 100 thousand.

Leitrim is the first county to have a rate less than 100 since October 16th.

But health officials are warning it's "far too early" to say they're satisfied with the current figures.

Dr Tony Holohan says they still have a number of concerns: "We still have a long way to go, and in particular we will continue to point to two points of concern.

"One is in relation to Dublin, where we haven't seen the drop in cases in the way we have seen across the country and the drop we would like to see."

He said the other major concern was the increase in the number of cases of Covid-19 in the elderly.

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