The latest figures on Covid-19 testing in schools show that 2,000 tests were carried out in 128 schools from 4 April to 10 April.

A total of 34 cases of the virus were detected representing a positivity rate of 1.7%.

This is three times less than the previous week when twice the number of schools were tested and nearly three times the number of tests. The overall positivity rate was 1.8%.

This latest HSE report of testing for schools was conducted when a large proportion of the school population were on their Easter break, accounting for the significant decrease in the number of tests and cases detected.

There were 1,669 tests conducted across 19 primary schools, with 32 of the 34 cases detected overall in these facilities.

The number of tests conducted across 169 post primary schools was 291, with less than five cases detected.

Less than five cases were detected in special education facilities, where 40 tests were carried out.

The HSE figures also show that 45 cases of Covid-19 were detected in childcare facilities over the same period from 4-10 April.

A total of 1,168 tests were conducted across 80 facilities representing a positivity rate of 3.9%.

That is down from 5.1% the previous week when 83 cases were detected across 105 facilities.

There were almost 500 less tests carried out.


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Meanwhile, Minister for Education Norma Foley told school principals there is a need to take the senior cycle into the 21st century.

She was speaking as part of a round table discussion at the annual conference of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals.

Minister Foley said there was critical work ahead for the reform of the Leaving Certificate.

"It is time to re-imagine the traditional post-primary senior cycle in order to ensure it serves and supports the needs of our young people," she said.

NAPD Vice-President Rachel O'Connor said over the past year Covid-19 had exposed the education system's over reliance on written exams.

She said it was important that lessons be learned from the pandemic to seize the opportunity to overhaul the traditional Leaving Certificate.