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*Photograph: Sean Curtin / True Media

A “sense of stability” in the daily incidence of COVID-19 has been observed across the country while Co Clare continues to account for among the lowest spread of the virus nationally.

No county by country breakdown of figures was provided by NPHET on Friday. However, the incidence rate of COVID-19 in Clare remains among the lowest levels in the Republic of Ireland.

An additional 425 cases have been diagnosed across the country while four more deaths related to COVID-19 have been recorded, of the deaths notified today 1 occurred in January, 1 occurred in February and 2 occurred in May.

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Latest vaccine data from Tuesday (May 11th) has detailed that 514,808 people have been fully vaccinated.

Speaking at Friday’s NPHET press briefing, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group outlined that an “almost tenfold reduction” in the incidence rate of cases among persons aged over 80 has been observed.

He stated, there is “a sense of stability” in the daily incidence rate and that the test positivity rate remains low. An increase in incidence among younger people was observed following the reopening of schools, Prof Nolan said. This was “not associated with schools but the increased social mobility associated with this,” he added. The amount of cases linked to schools outbreaks was said to be low by Prof Nolan.

Schools have been advised not to have end of year graduation ceremonies for Leaving Certificate students in any circumstances. Dr Abigail Collins, Consultant in Public Health Medicine, HSE highlighted that this would also include facilitating the attendance of family members on school premises or other locations.

Dr Collins commented, “It is very important not to carry out any activities that may put sixth year students at risk of exposure to COVID-19. Schools are also asked to strongly encourage students to act responsibly and not to attend any social events or gatherings which greatly increase the risk of spreading COVID-19”.

Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan acknowledged that it was an important time in the lives of young adults. “Unfortunately, this year, it is not possible for events of this nature to take place. It is very important that all students preparing to sit state exams in June take the necessary precautions now to ensure you do not contract COVID-19, particularly in the last remaining days before the commencement of the Leaving Cert. Do not attend graduation ceremonies or events,” he cautioned.

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