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04th Jan 2022

“Inevitable” that children will contract Covid in weeks ahead – Tony Holohan

Dave Hanratty

Tony Holohan children Covid schools

Schools are set to reopen on Thursday.

Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan has said it is “inevitable” that children will contract Covid-19 in the coming days and weeks.

The CMO outlined his position shortly after 21,302 new cases of the virus were confirmed by the Department of Health on Tuesday evening, 4 January.

Shortly beforehand, the Department of Education announced that schools will reopen on Thursday morning, citing “no public health rationale” to delay the return.

“As one of our key essential services – the education sector – prepares to restart in-person education this week, it is important that we continue to minimise, as much as we can, discretionary mixing indoors with people from other households,” said Holohan.

“We saw a significant reduction in incidence of Covid-19 in primary school-going children through December.

“However, given the very high and rising incidence of Covid-19 across all age groups in the community, it is inevitable that children will pick up this infection from household contacts in the days and weeks ahead,” Holohan continued.

“We also know, as a result, that there will be cases and outbreaks in schools and childcare settings.

“The Irish and international experience of the pandemic continues to give us reason to believe that schools are a lower risk environment for the transmission of Covid-19 and that the majority of children who are infected experience a mild form of this disease,” he added.

Holohan also underlined that children aged between five and 12 are eligible for vaccination.

People aged under 40 who are displaying Covid symptoms, meanwhile, can now order free antigen tests via an online portal.

The antigen test kits can be ordered through the HSE website.

As of Tuesday evening, 884 people are currently in hospital in relation to Covid-19.

Of those, 90 are in ICU.

Featured Image via Sam Boal /

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