Covid rates in schools low after return to classrooms last week

Covid rates in schools low after return to classrooms last week

No Covid-19 outbreaks were identified in schools last week as students started returning to in-class learning.

The news comes ahead of further reopening of schools next week.

About 300,000 students returned to classrooms on March 1st for the first time since Christmas.

Among those who returned were the four most junior classes in primary schools as well as Leaving Cert students.


The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) has confirmed no outbreaks emerged in schools that week.

An outbreak is defined as two or more cases and remains open until 28 days have passed without a new infection being detected.

There were three outbreaks associated with schools reported during the previous week. Schools for students with special educational needs partially reopened in the first half of February.

In separate data from the HSE’s weekly Covid-19 mass-testing report for schools for the same week, the positivity rate for Covid-19 was low at just 1.1 per cent.


Positivity rates are considered by public health experts as a key indicator for the risk of Covid-19 transmission within schools.

The HSE report shows there were 34 cases of Covid-19 detected in schools during the first week of March. Of these cases, most were at primary level (17), followed by second level (10) and special schools (7).

Away from schools, the HPSC was notified of 431 outbreaks of the virus in the week to March 6th.

Some 259 of those clusters were family outbreaks in private homes, which is almost double the number reported in that setting the week prior.


Ten clusters were linked to childcare settings and 15 were associated with colleges and third-level students.