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350,000 students to return to schools across Ireland today as part of phased reopening

350,000 students to return to schools across Ireland today as part of the phased reopening

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THE phased reopening of schools has continued today – with around 350,000 pupils returning to their classrooms.

Fifth-year students and all remaining primary schools children are due back in school today.

350,000 students to return to schools across Ireland today as part of phased reopening
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Primary school students and fifth-year pupils are returning to school today[/caption]

This means that primary schools across Ireland are now fully open due to the country’s phased reopening.

In secondary schools, fifth-year students will be joining sixth years who returned two weeks ago.

However, junior second-level students and fourth years still have four weeks to wait.

The target date for their return to school is April 12.

According to NPHET at last Thursday’s briefing, six outbreaks were reported among school-age children and teens last week.

With around 100 cases being recorded in the age cohort each day.

NPHET URGING CAUTION

And health chiefs have warned that Ireland is in a “very precarious position” as mobility and close contacts numbers spike.

Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, has urged the public not to “squander the sacrifice” made so far by returning to workplaces and mixing with others.

The NPHET expert told how the country is at a “delicate point” as schools begin to welcome students back and government begins to “attend to priorities such as non-urgent healthcare.”

He said: “The thing we’re concerned about around the reopening of schools is the increased mobility and tendency to return to the workplace and increased social mixing that occurs around those, not the opening of schools themselves.

“I worry that might squander the sacrifice of thousands of people over the last 52 weeks if we rush to do things too quickly over the next 10 to 20 weeks.

“We can see some early warning signs, the kind we’ve seen before, and I plea with the public that if we are slipping right now, to pull back and suppress the virus.”

Last night, Ireland saw 384 more Covid-19 cases and no further deaths reported over the previous 24-hours.

There have been 226,74 positive Covid cases since the outbreak began in Ireland.

There are currently 349 patients in the hospital, with Covid of which 86 are in ICU.