COVID-19 cases among primary school students in Ireland have increased by nearly 50% in just seven days.
According to figures released by the Health Service Executive (HSE), 2,418 positive cases were identified among children aged between four and 12-years-old last week.
This is a 48% increase on the 1,632 cases detected the previous week.
However, this could be partially explained by the fact that a substantially higher amount of testing for the virus took place last week, compared to the previous week.
Figures show that 35,433 Covid-19 tests were conducted for primary school kids last week, more than double the 16,229 tests which were carried out the previous week.
Ireland's schools reopened for the academic year at the start of the month, but classes have been regularly disrupted by the 'close contact' system.
It's understood that around 1,200 pupils are having to stay home from school every single day as they've been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for Covid-19.
Kids are having to self-isolate at home and miss over a week of school, even if they don't test positive themselves.
Around 120 primary schools and 80 secondary schools per day are asking the HSE for help due to the added strain of the system, and it's understood that the health service has been sending additional staff and resources to help out.