Huge number of Covid-19 outbreaks linked to social gatherings in houses

Justin Kelly

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Justin Kelly

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justin.kelly@iconicnews.ie

Huge number of Covid-19 outbreaks linked to social gatherings in houses

Coronavirus Covid-19

Dr John Cuddihy, director of the Health Protection Surveillance Centre, has revealed that more than half of all active Covid-19 outbreaks can be traced back to private households. 

252 of 392 active outbreaks across the country originated from social gatherings in private households.

Dr Cuddihy revealed the nature of a number of outbreaks, including one in a gastro pub which had been linked to 26 cases, including 10 cases at a separate workplace. One of the biggest outbreaks at a sports club saw six people contract the virus at one club.

However, a social gathering associated with the same club resulted in another 19 cases. There has also been a significant outbreak in the retail sector with one outlet seeing seven staff members testing positive for Covid-19, the HPSC revealed.

These figures show that households are still the most fertile breeding ground for Covid-19, prompting the government into considering additional garda powers to enforce certain restrictions.

It's understood the government is strongly in favour of giving gardaí powers to disrupt house parties which would be in breach of these restrictions. 

The new legislation could get Cabinet approval today and would also see gardaí given the power to close pubs on the spot if in breach of current guidelines.

The government introduced further restrictions for the entire country two weeks ago, including a ban on indoor gatherings of more than six people from three households.

NPHET has also said it would not be advising the reopening of wet pubs for "weeks at least" as it strives to avoid a second national lockdown.