Supermarkets most common setting where Covid-19 is being transmitted say PHE - NI death-toll now more than 900 - NI Executive meeting to discuss new restrictions is ongoing

The most common setting where Covid-19 has been transmitted from person-to-person is a supermarket, according to new data published by Public Health England (PHE) today.

Thursday, 19th November 2020, 6:28 pm

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Shoppers queue outside a supermarket in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic.

LIVE UPDATES: Supermarkets most common setting where Covid-19 is being transmitted say PHE

Last updated: Thursday, 19 November, 2020, 16:42

  • Supermarkets most common setting where Covid-19 is being transmitted say PHE
  • NI death-toll now more than 900 
  • NI Executive meeting to discuss new restrictions is ongoing
  • Health Minister to tell Executive to act now or risk Christmas lockdown measures

Supermarkets most common setting where Covid-19 is being transmitted say PHE

Shopper wears a mask during a visit to a supermarket.

The most common setting for the transmission of Covid-19 in England this week is a supermarket, new data from Public Health England has revealed.

The data was taken from the NHS Track and Trace app and concerned the transmission of the virus between November 9 and 15.

The following list is where, according to the PHE data, people were most likely to contract Covid;19:

Supermarket - 18.3%

Secondary school - 12.7%

Primary school - 10.1%

Hospital - 3.6%

Care home - 2.8%

College - 2.4%

Warehouse - 2.2%

Nursery preschool - 1.8%

Pub or bar - 1.6%

Hospitality - 1.5%

University - 1.4%

Manufacture engineering - 1.4%

Household fewer than five - 1.2%

General practice - 1.1%

Gym - 1.1%

Restaurant or cafe - 1.0%

Schools in ROI could close over winter months due to ventilation and heating issues

There are fears schools could close in the Republic of Ireland.

The Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI) has warned that schools may be forced to close over the winter months due to ventilation and heating issues.

Kieran Christie, ASTI general secretary, said teachers and students have been wearing their coats to stay warm since the colder weather began.

He told the education committee that hygiene and ventilation facilities needed to be upgraded and that the union “remained concerned” over the differential capacity of schools to implement key aspects of the Covid-19 response plan.

“As the colder weather has set in, keeping many classrooms warm, ensuring they will be appropriately ventilated, has been a big problem in schools,” he said.

“Teachers and students are there in their coats in many instances.

“If a period of cold weather comes in the coming weeks or months many schools are likely to have to close for the duration.”

Mr Christie also said there was a lack of communication protocols in place in schools where an outbreak of Covid-19 does occur, which needs to be addressed, and that prioritising schools for rapid testing and tracing was also needed.

Wednesday’s Covid-19 update

Health Minister to tell Executive to act now or risk Christmas lockdown measures

Robin Swann

Health Minister Robin Swann (pictured above) is expected to spare no detail later today when he briefs the Northern Ireland Executive on what he thinks is needed to bring Covid-19 under control in time for Christmas.

Minister Swann is expected to tell his Executive colleagues that unless new restriction measures are put in place before the end of November, the spread of the virus will become so great in December that even a full lockdown like the one in March would not be enough to stop Covid-19 overwhelming the health service.

The spread of Covid-19 has slowed throughout Northern Ireland over the last few weeks but Chief Scientific Advisor, Professor Ian Young, told media at a press briefing on Thursday that the pace of the decrease was slowing and would possibly plateau.

Professor Young also said the R-rate (the rate at which Covid-19 is transmitted in the community) had dropped to between 0.7 and 0.9 when schools closed for an extra week during the mid-term break however, Professor Young said since schools returned the R-rate increased and is now currently at around 1.0.

There have been 889 Covid-19 related deaths and 48,229 infections in Northern Ireland since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the Department of Health Covid-19 Dashboard.

School forced to close after Covid-19 cluster detected

Clounagh Junior High School.

A school in Northern Ireland has been forced to close after a cluster of Covid-19 infections were identified.

Clounagh Junior High School in Portadown posted a message on its Facebook page on Thursday morning telling parents and carers the school will be closed both today and tomorrow to facilitate a deep clean of the premises.

"Due to a number of Positive COVID-19 tests Clounagh JHS will be CLOSED - Thursday 19th & Friday 20th November, 2020 to ALL PUPILS. School will be in contact about arrangements for Monday 23rd November, 2020. 

“If your child has left for school please make arrangements to collect them ASAP,” said the school.

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