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03/08/2021

Return to college under review by NPHET as nearly 1,000 Covid-19 cases confirmed

Three quarters of all infections in 0-34 age group in past two weeks

coronavirus covid-19

Dr Tony Holohan message is reminder that the virus hasn't gone away and restrictions could have to be reviewed

New Covid-19 infections are returning to levels seen early in 2021 with nearly 1,000 new cases confirmed by National Public Health Emergency Team.

Official figures also available to NPHET show that nearly three quarters of cases are being detected among the young with young adults up to the age of 24 at most risk of catching the virus.

The latest figures from NPHET show that the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) has today, July 15, been notified of 994* confirmed cases of COVID-19. 

As of 8am today, 80 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 22 are in ICU.

HPSC figures in the two weeks to July 13 show that there have been total 7,468 new infections. Nearly 75% of these were detected among age groups up to the age of 34. 

A quarter of all cases, more than 1,800, are in the 19-24 age group.

Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, reacted first by highlighting the fact that many people have to be fully protected.

"More than 70% of the adult population have had at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and almost 60% of adults are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This is of course good news and a great cause for hope, however, there is still a significant cohort of the population who are not yet fully vaccinated, or as is the case with children, for whom vaccination is still a little way off and subject to future guidance," he said.

NPHET's head added that children are in this cohort.

"People who are unvaccinated, including children, should continue to avoid high-risk, uncontrolled indoor settings. That includes indoor hospitality. I know this is a difficult message for people, particularly parents of unvaccinated children to hear, but if we stick with the public health measures, we can limit transmission of this disease and protect others," he said.

Dr Holohan added that guidance that informs restrictions continues to be examined including the return to college.

"We continue to keep all of the public health guidance under review. That includes all elements of the further re-opening of society and looking forward to September and a return to education for students. In the meantime, avoid crowds, wear a mask, manage your contacts, keep your distance, meet outdoors where possible, and, if indoors, ensure that the room is well ventilated," he said.

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