Almost 60,000 young people between the age of 5 and 19 have been tested for Covid-19 since schools reopened at the end of August.

According to figures provided by the Health Service Executive to Nuacht RTÉ, 31,138 children in the 5-12 age group were tested between the week ending 30 August and Sunday 27 September.

Of those, 488 - or 1.5% - tested positive. 

The second week of September was the busiest in terms of testing, with 14,400 in the week ending 13 September.

Although the number of children tested fell by almost a half in the past two weeks, figures show that 11% more children tested positive for the virus in that same period.

Children aged 5-12

                            Tests               Cases

30 August            2,826              52

06 September     6,355              73

13 September   14,000              90

20 September   12,373            129

27 September     7,527            144

More than 27,000 people have also been tested in the group aged 13-19 since schools reopened at the end of August.

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Of a total of 27,514 tests carried out, 746 - or 2.7% - in this age group tested positive for Covid-19.

The third week of September saw the highest number of tests in this age group, with 8,407 tests conducted.This was almost three times the number of tests carried out in the last week of August when secondary schools reopened.

Of the 8,407 tested, 196 positive cases were identified.

These figures provided by the HSE indicate that the number of positive cases in this age group are on the rise.

The number of cases increased by 26% in the week ending 27 September compared to the previous week, despite a lower number of tests being carried out. 

This is in line with trends throughout the community.

Young people aged 13-19

                               Tests           Cases

30 August               2,905          69

06 September        2,947         103

13 September        5,050         131

20 September        8,407         196

27 September        8,215           247

HSE figures also indicate that 21,343 tests were carried out on infants and children of pre-school age in the 0-4 age group since schools reopened in August.