10 Times Tables


Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer, HSE at Dr Steevens’ Hospital for the weekly HSE operational update yesterday

This morning.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer, HSE said it is tragic to be talking about school closures again and no one wants to see this protracted because of what children experienced during the first lockdown.

However, he said, transmission levels are currently ten times what they were in early December.

He said this needs to reduce to a much lower level “before we can add to additional risk by the mixing of crowds at school settings”…

Transmission levels too high for schools to reopen – Henry (RTÉ)


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42 thoughts on “10 Times Tables

      1. Broadbag

        @dav: In that case why is okay to put special needs kids (and their teachers/support staff) back in the firing line? I don’t buy this ”sometimes education is more important” paradox, health comes first, always. See also, ”ah but it’s Christmas it will be grand, we can’t miss out on our Christmas!”.

        1. dav

          @broadbag – in what case? I was looking for further clarification that there was a claim that schools were “magical safe” before the 3rd wave. They were – when it wasn’t 10 times as bad.

          1. Broadbag

            @dav – if they’re no longer safe (or 10 times less safe) why is there this double speak from govt that it’s okay to send special needs kids/staff in? It doesn’t make any sense. Is it worth the risk of kids/staff potentially getting seriously ill or dying just for a few weeks education?

            To summarise: schools are safe, except when they’re not, but when they’re not they’re still safe enough for some? It’s gobbledygook.

  1. ReproBertie

    My kids’ school is due back from midterm on February 22nd and I don’t believe for a second that they’ll see the inside of a classroom before then.

    There’s a cabinet meeting next week when they’ll announce extending the restrictions but we all know it’s coming so why wait?

    1. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

      the government is the kind of cad who would break up by text, that’s why

          1. ReproBertie

            Do you mean an engagement as in ring on finger or an engagement as in we had plans but I’m not coming?

        1. Broadbag

          By text on New Year’s Eve, or was it New Year’s Day? Can’t remember but felt bad about it, briefly.

  2. Birdie

    Kinda related but I wonder could they could have opened had we smaller class sizes. But that’s a whole different discussion about under investment in education in this country.

    1. Brother Barnabas


      under investment in everything – we wouldnt have to freak out so much about rising hospitalisations either if we hadn’t reduced the health service to the bare bones

      1. VAnon ™


        the decades of under-investment in public healthcare
        and the drive to privatise
        and enhance opportunities for private healthcare providers

        is coming home to roost
        and ultimately we are the ones paying the price
        not the CEOs or the Shareholders of these Health Care Facilities, Or Former Ministers for Health, or the Likes of Tony O’Brien and his successor

        Tony Holohan can get the hump all he likes about Government not listening to his advice
        He’s been a DoH insider since the noughties and watched them eviscerate public health
        So he can shove his I told yis so snot on, he’s just as to blame for still + 12 months in btw, still being no more closer to managing this pandemic or figuring out how we live and work etc with it

        bloodly last minute reaction to everything
        like back of the room deals to get Pharamists and GPs on board
        They effin had preorders in since last November
        Leo was even tweeting about how great Pfizer was,
        and there they are with last minute nonsense and scabby deals

        Anyone remember the GP’s deal to accept the o70s Medical Cards?
        Step up former IMO Pres, Jamsie O’Reilly
        Total profiteering against a Government who opened its trap too soon

        Just like Leo bragging on behalf of Pfizers
        + photo ops with fridges

  3. Andrew

    Varadkar’s pathetic excuses for not imposing strict quarantines are risible. 33,000 travelling here every week! It’s just not credible to suggest this is all essential travel as h was trying to do.
    Our island status should give us an advantage instead he’s using the border with NI as an excuse not to impose restrictions. This is blatant politicking at the expense of lives.

    With regard to schools the teachers and their unions are an out and out disgrace , I blame them for this. There’s a large cohort in Irish life holding everyone else hostage.

  4. Formerly known as @ireland.com

    Ireland should try something different because lockdown cycles are not working. Following Oz and NZ. In Oz, life is close to normal, the kids can all go to school. Force all international arrivals into quarantine. Suppress the virus and life can go on. It is not easy but the current situation isn’t great.

    1. Andrew

      No need, just adopt the same travel restrictions in to Belfast airport. Our government hasn’t made any effort to engage with NI on this as they don’t want to stop free movement and it also plays in to their ridiculous re-unification project.
      All at the expense of lives.

      1. Formerly Known As @ireland.com

        I don’t see this government doing much for re-unification. I think they should try to reduce all movement. Co-operating with NI makes sense. However, in Australia, where there is no nasty tribal history (in this context), the state governments have been at loggerheads over state border closures. Labor vs Tory state governments tend to be the issue. So, the two governments in Ireland could disagree without it being as loaded as it would be interpreted.

    2. John Smith

      ‘And close the border with NI’

      Theoretically possible and, maybe, of benefit but is it practicable? A chunk of Monaghan has no crossing point into the rest of the county or into anywhere else in the Republic, except by going through Northern Ireland. There is a river that divides the county at that point and there is no bridge over it. There are similar but smaller areas in other places, too. Front-line cross-border workers and supply chain workers also need to cross in both directions and Derry provides hospital services, including A & E for a large area of Co Donegal. Quite a number of businesses and farms and even occasional buildings span the border. All of those are legitimate reasons for people to cross over the border. Additionally, people who wished to cross the border for illegitimate reasons could do so via any number of back roads and it does not seem feasible that these could all be checkpointed – certainly not at a time when the whole country is being checkpointed so personel are in short supply.

  5. eoin

    W.H.O now saying that PCR tests are wildly inaccurate. And that 90% of those tested positive have zero symptoms. But….nobody in government seems to care. Almost like the WANT society and the economy to be destroyed.

      1. Crocodile Dundalk

        “WHO guidance Diagnostic testing for SARS-CoV-2 states that careful interpretation of weak positive results is needed (1). The cycle threshold (Ct) needed to detect virus is inversely proportional to the patient’s viral load. Where test results do not correspond with the clinical presentation, a new specimen should be taken and retested using the same or different NAT technology.

        WHO reminds IVD users that disease prevalence alters the predictive value of test results; as disease prevalence decreases, the risk of false positive increases (2). This means that the probability that a person who has a positive result (SARS-CoV-2 detected) is truly infected with SARS-CoV-2 decreases as prevalence decreases, irrespective of the claimed specificity.

        Most PCR assays are indicated as an aid for diagnosis, therefore, health care providers must consider any result in combination with timing of sampling, specimen type, assay specifics, clinical observations, patient history, confirmed status of any contacts, and epidemiological information. ”


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