The creche with five confirmed Covid-19 cases has now been temporarily closed following advice from local health authorities.

The closure occurs after three children and two staff members at the Daoine Oga Community Childcare Centre in Navan, Co Meath, all tested positive for the coronavirus in the past week.

www.independent.ie is reporting that ‘Management had already closed three of the eight rooms at the facility, but the entire centre was shut this morning following a recommendation from the public health officer.

The facility is due to reopen on Tuesday, August 18.

The three children are asymptomatic, while the two adults who tested positive showed very mild symptoms.

All children at the facility had been split into pods of up to eight children with two staff as part of Covid-19 measures since reopening in June.

Reports of delays in testing for some children have been described as “concerning” by immunologist Professor Paul Moynagh of Maynooth University.’

He is quoted as saying, ‘It is very concerning if direct contacts of confirmed cases are not being immediately contacted and tested as part of the test and trace system operated by the HSE.

‘If the test and trace system is not done with speed, it is wholly ineffective. Ideally the time period from referral of a suspected case to test confirmation and tracing of contacts should be one to two days. Any period beyond this time loses effectiveness.

‘A delay of a week in tracing of direct contacts leads to little or no value. During that week, an infected contact may have infected secondary contacts who in turn could have infected tertiary contacts.

‘Recently we have been told, including at the Oireachtas Covid Committee, that we now have a robust test and trace system – this is not robust if there are delays of up to a week.’

Creche CEO Marie Daly told the website, ‘Following advice from the public health officer, we have closed the creche until August 18 and all parents and staff have been notified.

‘We have always followed all guidelines and advice given to us from all the relevant bodies since the first staff member tested positive and we have always kept staff and parents up to date with the situation.’