Sharp rise in COVID outbreaks at schools and childcare settings

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COVID-19 outbreaks at schools and childcare facilities across Ireland rose sharply last week with a total of 31 outbreaks associated with schools and 22 with childcare settings, new figures show.

Two weeks ago, just five outbreaks were associated with schools and eleven with childcare.

The latest HPSC data also shows that there were no outbreaks at nursing homes last week as vaccinations continue to prove their effectiveness, while there were just three new outbreaks in hospitals across the State.

The number of coronavirus outbreaks at peoples places of work increased to 12 last week, while families in private homes continues to have the highest number of new outbreaks at 172.

Only five were associated with retail outlets in the week to 24 April, while 12 outbreaks were related to travel.

In total, 648 COVID outbreaks associated with education and childcare facilities were recorded between 21 November and 24 April.

The government is set to announce this week which public health measures will be lifted in May and June as the country slowly reopens after months of Level 5 restrictions.