Only 0.1% of Irish Covid cases linked to outdoor transmission, says new data 1 week ago

Only 0.1% of Irish Covid cases linked to outdoor transmission, says new data

Huge if true.

Only 0.1% of coronavirus cases recorded in Ireland have been linked to outdoor transmission.

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According to new figures, just one in every thousand Covid-19 cases recorded in Ireland up to March 26 2021 have been linked to outdoor transmission.

The Irish Times reports that the figures, obtained by the publication from the HPSC (Health Protection Surveillance Centre), are based on “locations which are primarily associated with outdoor activities, ie outdoor sports and construction sites, or outbreaks that specifically mention in comments that an outdoor location or activity was involved."

Figures show that of 232,164 cases of Covid-19 recorded up until the above date, 262 happened as a result of outdoor transmission. 42 outbreaks came from outdoor gatherings, with one community outbreak accounting for seven cases of the virus.

The centre added, however, that they “cannot determine where transmission occurred" and that the origin of 20% of all cases since March 24 it not yet known.

This comes after Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced that zoos, heritage sites, and other similar outdoor attractions would be permitted to reopen on April 26. There has been no word yet as to when outdoor dining will resume in Ireland, however this new data could mean that restaurants may be permitted to reopen sooner than expected.

Despite this, the HSE's Chief Clinical Officer Dr Colm Henry has said that the data obtained by the HPSC could be "misleading."

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Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, he said that the data does not include all outdoor activities, or certain aspects linked to these activities such as journeys or changing rooms.

"The message that does come across from this data is that in the purest sense, when people adhere to social distancing and other Covid measures, outdoor transmission is 19/20 times less likely that indoor transmission," he said.

However, he added that the data is "misleading in terms of the number because it pertains to outbreaks in outdoor settings. It doesn't really include all the other scenarios where people might acquire Covid when they congregate in any activity."

Dr Henry added that any acceleration of outdoor activities reopening is "ultimately up to the government."