THERE have been 7,259 cases of Covid-19 linked to an outbreak in the last four weeks, new figures show.
Of these cases, 2,120 were in nursing homes, while 1,373 were in hospital or a community hospital and 506 cases were in residential institutions.
Figures released by the Central Statistic Office (CSO) show that people aged over 80 made up 21% of all cases linked to an outbreak in the four weeks leading up to February 12.
There were 1,260 cases linked to an outbreak in the workplace during the same period.
The CSO stated that the process in reporting outbreaks is taking longer because of the surge in cases in recent months.
As public health are prioritising the reporting of outbreaks in key settings, including hospitals, the number of cases linked to private house outbreaks is underestimated.
The figures show that only 336 cases were linked to outbreaks in homes in those four weeks, however it is understood the true figure is much higher.
In its 24th publication, the CSO provides details about those who have either died or contracted Covid-19 by using data from Computerised Infectious Disease Reporting (CIDR).
The figures show that in the week ending February 12, the number of weekly cases was 4,686, a decrease of 27% from the previous week.
Dublin accounted for more than a third of all new cases but it was the sixth week in a row that weekly cases in the capital have fallen.
Galway was the county with the second highest number of new cases, with 404 in the week ending February 12.
It was the fifth week in a row that Leitrim has recorded less than 50 new cases, and was the third week in a row that Roscommon recorded less than 50 new cases and the second such week for Longford.
Those aged 25 to 44 made up 31% of confirmed cases, with those aged 65 and over making up 11%.
There were 261 healthcare workers diagnosed during that time, which is the lowest weekly figure since the week ending December 11.
The number of coronavirus cases accounted for by healthcare workers also fell from 21% of all confirmed cases, in the week ending January 22, to 5.6% in the week ending February 12.
People admitted to hospital has been decreasing since the peak of 1,348 in the last month.
The average number of contacts per positive case per week was two in the week ending February 12, down from three contacts per case in early January.
This implies details of more than 9,000 close contacts were recorded in the week.
Meanwhile, there were 82,820 referrals for community testing where a valid reservation was recorded.
Referrals for testing decreased last week, in particular among the 45 to 64 age groups, which decreased from 28,955 to 25,243.
Some 43% of referrals were from GPs, representing a decrease from 79% in the first week of January.
Further analysis shows that referrals for testing for healthcare and essential workers dropped by 7,425 by the end of last week.
Weekly testing numbers from HSE labs and hospitals show there were 117,123 tests completed last week, while the positivity rate was 5.6%, down from 6.1% the previous week.