Twice as many clusters of Covid-19 in schools over the last week

ireland
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Digital Desk staff

There were twice as many clusters of Covid-19 linked to schools last week than the week before.

There were 25 last week, compared to just 12 during the previous seven days.

There were also 352 clusters in private households last week, which is down slightly from the previous week.

Labour's education spokesman, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, says the outbreaks associated with schools are very concerning:

"Clearly the statistics that are coming from Nphet have to be monitored. Obviously the situation in Northern Ireland where an extended mid-term break is being considered, is something the Department of Education needs to be wary of and respond to."

He said the Minister for Education, Norma Foley needs to be working with her education partners and Nphet to ensure schools can be kept open.

This comes as there has been a concerning rise of cases across the country, which prompted the Government last night to announce a ban on the majority of household visits as well as further restrictions for three counties.

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The Cabinet agreed that Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal will be moved to Level 4 of the Government’s Living with Covid plan, in place until November 10th.

Level 4 restrictions

Under Level 4, no visitors are permitted to homes and indoor gatherings and events are banned. Non-essential retail outlets will have to shut.

Sinn Fein TD for Donegal, Padraig Mac Lochlainn, says people in the county are "desperately disappointed" at last night's news, but he says the move to level 4 was coming:

"Unfortunately the numbers have been rising and the potential pressure on our limited number of ICU beds is real. There is pressure and burden on our health services, which are uniquely exposed due to the historic under-investment."

He says what needs to be done now is to focus on supporting our business and workers and get them through this in the time ahead.

Close to 10,000 retail jobs could be lost in Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal as a result of the new restrictions announced last night.

Duncan Graham, the managing director of Retail Excellence, says the announcement was a huge blow to the sector.

"There are around 20,000 people employed in the retail sector in these three counties. So last night's announcement is inevitably going to have a big impact on those jobs.

"There is potentially up to 10,000 of those jobs in jeopardy seeing as retail is one of the biggest employers in these three counties."

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