The number of Covid-19 outbreaks in primary schools nearly doubled last week, according to the latest data from the Health Protection Surveillance Center (HPSC).
However, the incidence of Covid cases among children aged 5 to 12 has also fallen by more than a fifth in the previous week. This is still the age group with the highest number of cases by far at 1,048 per 100,000, according to data for the week through Sunday.
The data shows there were 164 outbreaks overall in the week ending December 11, which is an increase of 25 – or 18 per cent – over the previous week.
The place where the largest number of outbreaks occurred was schools, where there were 37. This number is up from 30 the previous week. Primary schools were the hardest hit with 22 outbreaks, which was up from 12 in the previous week.
In total, 733 outbreaks associated with school children, universities and colleges, third-level students and childcare facilities have been reported since June 27, and 243 of these outbreaks are still open.
Residential establishments continued to be severely affected last week with 29 more outbreaks reported, a slight increase from 26 in the previous week.
There was better news in acute hospitals as the number of outbreaks halved from 10 to 5, although nursing homes saw a moderate increase from 10 to 13 outbreaks.
Five outbreaks were reported in community hospitals/long-stay units, which was unchanged from the previous week, while there were 12 outbreaks associated with other health care services. This number is up from 10 in the previous week.
The rate of outbreaks in childcare facilities rose slightly to nine last week from eight in the previous week. There have been three workplace-related outbreaks, which are down from seven in the previous week.
There was one outbreak associated with a religious/other ceremony, which included one confirmed case of the Omicron variant. The remaining 50 outbreaks included private homes (38), extended family (8), travel (2), social gatherings (1) and others (1).
HPSC also reports outbreaks among vulnerable populations, and last week saw a nearly fourfold increase in this region with 26 new outbreaks reported, up from seven in the previous week.
There were 13 outbreaks among travelers, which is up from three in the previous week, while there were seven outbreaks linked to direct supply centers versus four in the previous week.
There have been three outbreaks among the Roma community; Two outbreaks linked to prisons; And one outbreak was linked to the homeless.
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