A further 147 confirmed cases of Covid-19 have been reported by State health officials but no new deaths.
There has now been a total of 1,777 Covid-19 related deaths in Ireland. There have been a total of 28,116 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the State.
Of the cases 71 per cent are aged under 45 and 60 are confirmed to be associated with outbreaks or are close contacts of a confirmed case. There were 14 cases of community transmission. In terms of geography, of the cases 73 are in Dublin, 17 in Kildare, 12 in Offaly, 11 in Wicklow, 9 in Limerick and the remaining 25 cases are in Carlow, Clare, Cork, Donegal, Galway, Laois, Louth, Meath, Monaghan, Tipperary and Wexford.
Dr Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer said evidence suggests “ children do not commonly transmit Covid-19 to other children or adults in school settings.
“Internationally, where schools have been reopened, schools have not been a significant driver of community transmission.
“We all have a role to play in keeping this virus at low levels – this is key to protecting our education system over the coming weeks.”
Dr Cillian DeGascun, Director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory, said: “We know that children can get multiple respiratory tract infections over the winter period and as a result could require repeated swab tests. Therefore, NPHET, HSE and NVRL are continuing to assess alternative testing methods for children.”
Dr Siobhán Ni Bhriain, Consultant Psychiatrist and Integrated Care Lead HSE, said; “There will be cases in school aged children just as there have been throughout the pandemic. When these occur, our public health teams will lead the response to limit further transmission- as has been the case in other settings throughout this pandemic.”
Dr Mary Favier, President of the Irish College of General Practitioners, said; “Parents should remain vigilant around symptoms and keep their children isolated at home if they are experiencing fever, cough, shortness of breath, flu like symptoms, loss of taste or smell.
“Parents should also remain aware of asymptomatic transmission – like some adults, children may not present symptoms but can still carry the virus. If you have vulnerable people in your limited network, ensure physical distancing is adhered to and encourage regular hand washing habits with your child.”
Further details are expected at a briefing by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) on Monday evening, with figures being closely watched ahead of the reopening of schools.
Separately, another 10 cases of Covid-19 have been reported across Northern Ireland in the past 24 hours.There have been no more deaths.
The first pupils have returned to schools across Northern Ireland since the coronavirus lockdown started in March. Some parents have expressed concerns while teachers’ unions say educators had not been given enough time to respond to rules issued earlier this month.
Northern Ireland’s chief medical officer Dr Michael McBride has insisted it is safe to return. However three schools did not reopen following the detection of Covid-19 cases.
More to follow