There have been 180 cases of COVID-19 among children and parents since schools re-opened, the head of the HSE has said.
Paul Reid says thousands of children and teachers have been tested to date, and 11 outbreaks have been confirmed.
Mr Reid today told the Oireachtas COVID-19 committee that keep schools open is something the HSE is putting a "huge focus" on.
He noted there are "big volumes" of children being tested since schools reopened in recent weeks - but that's something they want to see.
He said: "In the first week the schools were back, we had about 17% of our total testing for that week conducted in young children - the 0-10 age group. In the second week, it was up to 36%.
"The positivity rate... thankfully, the first week it was 1.4%. It dropped back to 0.5%, and it's about 1.9% at the moment. We're watching that very closely."
Mr Reid said the HSE has been working very closely with schools and principals, and the 90% of test results are back to schools within 24 hours.
He said each coronavirus situation in a school - in relation to classrooms or 'pods' - is 'assessed on its own merits' by public health officials to determine the correct response.
The HSE chief said there were another 84 COVID-19 cases identified on top of the 180 'index cases'.