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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Highest Covid-19 rates in children were recorded during school holidays – HSE

According to the Health Service Executive (HSE), the highest Covid-19 rates for children were recorded during school holidays.

Prior to this year’s summer break, there was an average of 1,000 cases per week among those aged 0 to 18 years old, however, the figure rose between 3,500 and 4,000 a week when children were out of school.

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HSE public health specialist Dr. Abbey Collins said that the rates prior to the summer holidays were a reflection of strict test and trace protocols, along with strict mitigation measures that were implemented across the board in school settings.

“There is an element about stability of life and being in an environment where there is a quite sort of strict, in the nicest possible way, enforcement of the mitigation measures that we are asking our schools. That is having an impact.”

Collins added that children only get tested for the virus if a parent or family member has tested positive.

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Testing and tracing are done in schools when any positive case arises.

She stated that the figures show that you’re more likely to get Covid-19 on school holidays than in school.

“So clearly you’re more likely to get Covid in the school holidays if you go by those numbers.”

Meanwhile, the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has completed a review on mask-wearing for primary school children, which will be considered by NPHET at a meeting next week.

IMAGE SOURCE – “common classroom” (CC BY 2.0) by Robert Couse-Baker

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