Covid-19 outbreaks in residential institutions double

Five new travel-related outbreaks with cases from Faro, Alicante and Lanzarote

There were another 12 outbreaks reported in nursing homes, up from 11 the week before. Photograph: iStock

There were another 12 outbreaks reported in nursing homes, up from 11 the week before. Photograph: iStock

 

The number of Covid-19 outbreaks fell last week as the amount of clusters in acute hospitals more than halved.

But the prevalence of the virus remained stubbornly high in nursing homes and residential institutions, where outbreaks doubled, a new report from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) shows.

There were a total of 165 Covid outbreaks reported in the week up to midnight on Saturday, which was down from 199 the week before.

There were another 12 outbreaks reported in nursing homes, which was up from 11 the week before. A total of 87 cases were linked to these outbreaks, while the largest outbreak saw 17 people infected in one nursing home.

There was one new outbreak reported in a community hospital/long-term care facility that was linked with eight cases, while there were five new acute hospital outbreaks linked with 19 cases. The number of outbreaks in hospitals was down from 13 the week before.

However, the number of outbreaks in residential institutions doubled compared with the previous week as 20 outbreaks were reported. There were 78 cases linked to these outbreaks.

Twelve of them were in centres for disabilities, four were in children’s/Tusla residential centres, one each in a homeless facility and a mental health facility, while two had no specific location listed.

The HPSC report said there were five outbreaks in other healthcare services, all of which involved clients of home care services, with 16 cases reported.

The picture in the workplace improved somewhat as the number of outbreaks fell to 22 from 34 the previous week. However, there were 115 cases linked to these outbreaks.

They included four in “other food production and processing”, while there were two outbreaks in meat/poultry production and processing, and nine in other workplaces such as offices in the commercial, manufacturing, defence, justice and emergency services sectors.

School outbreaks

There were 11 new outbreaks reported in schools, with 90 cases, although this was down from 15 outbreaks the week before. There were seven outbreaks in primary schools, two in special education facilities and two in post-primary schools.

The number of outbreaks in childcare settings more than halved from 10 to four, while there were 12 cases linked to these incidents.

Elsewhere, there were three outbreaks associated with a restaurant or cafe, which led to 19 cases, while there were four outbreaks related to retail outlets that were associated with eight cases.

There were five new travel-related outbreaks, with 21 linked cases from Faro, Alicante, Lanzarote and Ukraine.

The remaining 73 outbreaks were across other locations including private houses (55); extended family (7); social gatherings (2); religious/other ceremony (3); transport (1); public house (1); hotel (1); community outbreak (2); and university/college (1).

The report also detailed outbreaks in vulnerable communities throughout the State. It said a further 15 were reported among these communities in the week, which was up from 12 the previous week. Ten of the outbreaks involved Travellers, which were associated with 88 cases. Two community outbreaks among Travellers had 23 and 27 cases respectively.

There were two outbreaks associated with the Roma population, with 16 linked cases, while there was one outbreak in clients of mental health services.

Finally, there was one outbreak among third-level students, which occurred in a college and led to 12 cases, while there was one outbreak in a homeless facility, with five cases.