Covid-19: Under-24s account for almost half of outbreak cases in April

Figures from CSO also show the number of people over 65 testing positive is decreasing

Those under 24 made up 47 per cent of the 4,046 cases linked to outbreaks recorded in the four weeks up to April 30th, CSO figures show.  Photograph: iStock

Those under 24 made up 47 per cent of the 4,046 cases linked to outbreaks recorded in the four weeks up to April 30th, CSO figures show. Photograph: iStock

 

Young people under 24 years of age accounted for nearly half of all Covid-19 cases linked to outbreaks last month, according to new figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

Those under 24 made up 47 per cent of the 4,046 cases linked to outbreaks recorded in the four weeks up to April 30th.

A third of the outbreaks, defined as two or more confirmed Covid-19 cases, occurred in private homes.

The impact of the Covid-19 vaccination programme continues to be seen on the low transmission rates of the virus in hospitals, nursing homes, and among the over-65s.

There were 46 cases linked to outbreaks in healthcare settings in April, 1 per cent of the total. Similarly, there were 36 cases in nursing homes or other residential care facilities tied to outbreaks.

The number of people over 65 testing positive for Covid-19 continues to decrease steadily, as the vaccination programme has moved through the over-70s.

People over 65 made up just 4 per cent of new cases in the week ending on April 30th, compared to nearly a fifth of cases in late January.

Some 6 per cent of cases connected to outbreaks in the last four weeks were in schools, and 5 per cent of outbreak cases were in childcare facilities.

Some 624 positive cases were linked to workplace outbreaks, 15 per cent of the total, according to the CSO figures published on Friday.

Retail and wholesale workers accounted for the highest number of confirmed cases last week, making up 18 per cent of cases.

Healthcare staff and social workers accounted for one in 10 confirmed cases, down from a third of cases at the height of the third wave in January.

There were 55 healthcare workers diagnosed with Covid-19 in the week up to April 30th. The previously high rates of the virus among healthcare staff have plummeted following the rollout of vaccinations to frontline health workers.

This is the lowest number of new cases among healthcare workers since last August, when transmission of the virus was heavily suppressed.

On average, people who tested positive for Covid-19 reported 3.9 close contacts, a figure which has remained largely the same since late February.

People in Co Wexford reported the highest average number of close contacts, at 5.4 people, with Co Kerry the lowest, where confirmed cases had on average a little over two close contacts.

There were 2,737 cases recorded in the week ending on April 30th, an 11 per cent drop on the previous week. Dublin accounted for two-fifths of the total, with 1,074 confirmed cases.

Several counties, Kerry, Leitrim, and Sligo, all had 10 cases or fewer over the week in question.

Hospitalisations and admissions into intensive care also continued to fall, compared to the peak of the third wave in January.

The CSO analysis, published once a week, is drawn from Health Protection Surveillance Centre figures and other Health Service Executive data.