More than 100 students have tested positive for Covid-19 over the past week
MORE than 100 students attending third level education in Limerick have tested positive for Covid-19 over the past week, the Department of Health has confirmed.
Details of two large outbreaks involving students from Limerick and Galway were revealed at a NPHET media briefing this Monday evening.
Public health teams in Limerick have been working with the affected students and educational institutes since the cluster was first identified to ensure all contacts are traced and tested for disease.
"We are concerned about the rise in infections in the third level institutions, We have 120 positive students in Limerick and they are offering widespread screening in the university since the end of last week," said Dr Lorraine Doherty, National Clinical Director for Health Protection at the HSE.
In addition to the students who have tested positive for Covid-19 there are a number of suspected cases while others are awaiting testing.
"There are a lot of links between these young people in relation to infection. The average cluster size is two to three households so there is definitely household mixing for these young people wo are at university," added Dr Doherty who said 135 cases have been linked to the Galway outbreak to date.
Speaking at the same briefing, Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy CMO, praised the response of public health teams to the outbreaks in Limerick and Galway.
"The response we have seen there really shows the value of reactive dynamic public heath teams and the efforts that they have put in over the past week - firstly identifying there was an issue and then responding to it and making widespread testing available and communicating that really effectively to the student bodies," he said.