Primary school-aged children now have highest coronavirus incidence
According to new figures, children aged between five and 12 now have the highest Covid-19 incidence of any age group.
Last week, 5,374 coronavirus infections in this age group were detected, up from 4,211 the previous week.
What this means, is that with 10,000 positive cases in a fortnight, as many as 15,000 children are currently isolating at home and are out of school, certainly when siblings are factored in.
According to the Irish Times, these figures do not include symptomatic children who are isolating at home and waiting for PCR tests.
However, the HSE is keen to point out that increases in the disease incidence among school-aged children, or the detection of an outbreak in a school, does not of itself indicate that transmission occurred within the school.
“Clusters of cases may be detected within a particular setting despite exposure and transmission having occurred elsewhere,” it states.
Antigen testing on the way as schools are declared less safe
With numbers of positive Covid cases on the rise in primary schools across the country, Minister for Education Norma Foley has confirmed that antigen test guidance will be made available for primary schools and parents this week ahead of their introduction from Monday the 29th.
The HSE confirms that antigen tests will be posted to children in cases where another child in their pod tests positive or where there are two or more cases in a class within a week.
Meanwhile, Ronan Glynn spoke to Newstalk's Pat Kenny yesterday and stated that while it has been maintained that schools are safe environments, this has somewhat changed of late due to a surge in cases.
"What I would fully accept is that schools are not as safe now as they were, when incidence was lower a number of months ago,” the State’s deputy chief medical officer said.
“No environment is as safe now as it was then. And we’ve said all along that when incidence is really high in the community, as it is at the moment, then schools are not as safe as they would otherwise be. We’ve never said that schools are a safe environment, we’ve said they’re a lower-risk environment.”