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SHOCK FIGURES More positive Covid-19 cases in creches than in our schools

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Hand sanitiser in a classroom

Hand sanitiser in a classroom

Hand sanitiser in a classroom

The percentage of children and staff who tested positive for Covid-19 in childcare facilities is more than double the number in both primary and secondary schools.

Newly released HSE figures show the percentage of positive tests is far higher among children and staff who attend creches than those in school.

The percentage is also higher among children and staff in special education facilities than those in either primary or secondary school.

Up to last week, a total of 9,949 staff and children had been tested for the virus in schools and creches around the country.

Of those tested, 8,560, or 86pc, were under 18 while the remaining 1,389, or 14pc, were over 18.

The HSE figures showed 204, or 2.1pc, tested positive for the virus.

A breakdown of the figures show that of the 1,758 children and staff tested for the virus in childcare facilities, some 68,or 3.86pc, received a positive diagnosis.

In primary schools, 5,023 pupils and staff were tested with 81, or 1.6pc, testing positive.

In secondary schools, 2,603 students and staff were tested with 45, or 2.18pc, testing positive.

While in special education settings, 538 students were tested and 15, or 2.78pc, were given a positive diagnosis

The figures were released to Sinn Féin's employment spokesperson Louise O'Reilly in response to a parliamentary question.

Speaking to the Herald, Ms O'Reilly (inset) said the Government needs to ensure all workplaces, but especially schools and creches, are safe places for staff and children.

The Dublin Fingal TD said more personal protection equipment (PPE) should be made available for all education and childcare workers.

"We have been contacted by workers in the education and early years sector who are concerned at the low levels of mass testing in the sector and the need for more PPE to be made available," Ms O'Reilly said.

"This underlines the need for Covid 19 to be designated a workplace injury if contracted at work. The Government has refused to act on the Sinn Féin call for this and I have published legislation to compel the Tánaiste to act," she added.

The HSE figures showed the majority of the coronavirus tests were carried out in their East division, which includes Dublin, with testing provided for staff and children from 224 different schools and creches.

Herald


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