The Department of Health has reported a further 1,355 coronavirus cases in the Republic this afternoon.
As of 8am today, 286 people with COVID-19 are hospitalised across the country, of whom 59 are in ICU.
The chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said that the ongoing analysis of the epidemiological situation has informed the NPHET recommendation to evolve public health management of school settings from Monday next.
“The resumption of in-person education was associated with a significant increase in the numbers of children referred for testing in recent weeks,” said Dr Holohan.
“This increase was driven by the screening of asymptomatic children who had been identified as close contacts. This action was precautionary and was due to the diligence of parents and guardians bringing their children for tests.
“Despite significantly increased testing in this age group, there has only been a relatively modest increase in the detection of cases. We have also seen the associated positivity rate decrease from 16% to 5% which is very reassuring.
“Both nationally and internationally, the evidence tells us that schools are a low risk setting for the transmission of COVID-19 among school-going children and, as such, now is the right time to evolve our contact tracing approach, while maintaining the infection prevention and control in place in educational settings.”