A TOTAL of 1,293 confirmed cases of Covid-19 have been reported by the Department of Health this Monday evening.
The figures as of midnight, Sunday, August 28, are down on Saturday's number of 1,706.
As of 8am today, 382 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 61 are in ICU. This is up on Sunday when there were 347 Covid-19 patients in hospital with 60 in ICU.
Dr Tony Holohan, chief medical officer, said as many children return to classrooms across the country today, it is important to highlight to both children and their parents that considerable preparations have been made across the country to reopen schools safely.
"Our data clearly shows that, to date, the school environment was not a major source of disease transmission. In order to go back to school as safely as possible, my advice to children is to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer regularly and follow the protocols operating in your school.
"Parents, please keep in mind the symptoms to look out for and do not send your child to school if they display any of them, instead help them to isolate and contact you GP for advice and arrange a test if appropriate," said Dr Holohan.
He also urged caution when participating in activities with classmates outside the school environment, which have "proven to be settings where outbreaks and transmission in children have occurred in the past".
"This will help to prevent further transmission and potential outbreaks," said Dr Holohan.
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