Not all of the one million students in the country will be back in school before St Patrick's Day, the Taoiseach has said. Primary and secondary schools have not reopened since the Christmas holidays due to the surge in Covid-19 cases. | Read more:
Ireland went from some of the lowest Covid numbers in Europe to the world's highest infection rate. What happened? @MichealMartinTD says opening up over Christmas led to a "significant spike" and the UK variant of the virus has "driven numbers. It's now up to 62% of all cases."
A teenager from #Hampshire , who's been shielding for almost a year, says receiving a Covid-19#vaccine was like "opening the best Christmas present". Lewis Hine has had 13 operations for a brain tumour since being diagnosed at just 17 months old. More:
COVID-19 has brought many shortages. Toilet paper. Yeast. Christmas trees. Now it’s ... boats. Why? “We’re seeing lots of purchases of motorcycles, RVs, off-road vehicles, anything that would make being at home more enjoyable.”
Dolly Parton turned 75 this week. This year alone she funded a Covid vaccine, starred in a Christmas movie, launched a book reading series, and saved her 9-yr old co-star's life. Her only birthday wish? “To see more kindness in the world.” What a lady..
Christmas Cheer Fund: COVID didn't prevent donors from coming through
Since the start of the pandemic, more than 21,000 care home residents have died with Covid-19 in England & Wales. One care home in Lincolnshire saw a devastating loss just before Christmas. Now, a glimpse of hope for those who remain - their vaccines have arrived. @leylahayes
For hundreds of thousands of families across the country, this will be their first Christmas mourning the absence of those killed by COVID-19. Join me in keeping all of them in our thoughts during this difficult time.
NEW: Saturday update of latest UK Covid data The trend in test positivity since Christmas is genuinely scary, with lines climbing almost vertically in all English regions. On Christmas eve 17% of tests in London came back positive. Four days later that was 24% and accelerating