January 26, 2021

COVID-19 UPDATE: Just one more case of virus confirmed in Waterford, sweeping changes to this year’s Leaving Cert

The number of coronavirus cases in Waterford has risen by just one to 140, according to the latest county-by-county breakdown of Covid-19 figures.

The low increase further underlines Waterford’s positive response to the pandemic so far, with the county enjoying one of the lowest rates of infection in the country.

Meanwhile, sweeping changes to this year’s Leaving Cert set to be announced today will give students the option of sittting the exams at a later date.

However, most of the country’s 61,000 students are expected opt for predictive grades, which would be based on their performance in school.

Students who want to sit the traditional exams, and they will be legally entitled to do so, will be facilitated.

A student survey conducted last weekend showed 79pc of sixth years support the option of predictive grades, suggesting a significant majority would take this route.

But exams will be held for anyone who want to sit them. If, as expected, the number of candidates were significantly lower, it would also make holding the exams more managable in light of public health restrictions such as social distancing.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar yesterday acknowledged in the Dáil that uncertainty over the Leaving Cert was causing “enormous stress”.

He said he wanted to bring conclusion to the issue this week, suggesting an announcement will be made after today’s Cabinet meeting.

Shane Doran

Shane Doran is founder and Co-Managing Editor of News Now Media, incorporating KilkennyNow.ie, WaterfordNow.ie and WicklowNow.ie. He is a former newspaper editor who has held senior executive roles across five national newspaper titles, both broadsheet and tabloid. He was News Editor and Executive Editor of the Irish Independent for more than seven years and spent a number of years in South Africa where he worked as editor of The Daily Voice newspaper. Shane has held senior editorial position with The Sunday Independent, The Herald and The Irish Daily Star and has served as Executive Editor (Group) of Independent News & Media (INM), Ireland’s largest newspaper group.

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