Northern Ireland news

More than 1,000 infants and primary school-aged children tested positive for Covid-19 in week before new term

More than 1,000 infants and primary school-aged children tested positive for Covid-19 in the week before school started

MORE than 1,000 infants and primary school-aged children tested positive for Covid-19 in the week before school started, new figures collated by the Department of Health have revealed.

Officials have begun to break down infection rates among young people into five-year age groups to track the spread of the virus.

It revealed 3,305 new cases among young people from birth to 19 in the seven days leading up to August 31.

In a week when 10,378 people tested positive for coronavirus, the infection rate was disproportionately high among girls aged 15-19.

This cohort has seen rates of 1,089 positive tests per 100,000 - similar to the rate causing alarm in Fermanagh and Omagh last month.

The next highest is among boys in the same age group - which have seen rates of 955 per 100,000 over seven days.

Older teenagers (15-19) have seen the most new cases in the last week for which data is available, with 1,146 positive cases - 592 among girls and 554 among boys.

Those aged 10-14 have seen 1,003 new cases with the boys infected (505) marginally ahead of girls (498).

However, young children aged five to nine are now the sixth most Covid-infected age group, with 833 testing positive in the week leading up to August 31.

And infants and pre-schoolers saw 323 infections, with girls under-five now showing higher infection rates than women aged 65 and over.

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Northern Ireland news