LATEST - Warning issued to people in Laois, Offaly and Kildare as Covid-19 cases surge

Thursday, August 5

Pat Somers

Reporter:

Pat Somers

Email:

news@leinsterexpress.ie

LATEST - Warning issued to people in Laois, Offaly and Kildare as Covid-19 cases surge

The Acting Chief Medical Officer has urged people in Laois, Offaly and Kildare to be vigilant after another grim day for increases in Covid-19 cases. 

Laois has recorded another eight cases, bringing the total so far in the county to 322 cases.

Offaly has recorded 22 and Kildare 18. 

Dr Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said this evening, “Over the past fourteen days, 226 cases have arisen in Kildare, Laois and Offaly. These represent almost half of all cases in Ireland over that time period.

“While the majority of these cases can be accounted for by outbreaks, this volume of cases is significant and our main priority now is to ensure that these outbreaks do not lead to widespread community transmission in the region.

“NPHET continues to monitor the situation closely. I urge people in these counties to remain vigilant to stop the further spread of COVID-19 in these areas.”

It’s also understood that GPs in the three counties have been written to in an effort to underline concerns.

Dr Glynn said, “Everyone in those counties needs to pay particular attention to symptoms.

”It is strongly recommended if you’re medically vulnerable or older than 70 that you limit the number of people you meet to a small number,maintain distance of 2 meters and if at all possible avoid public transport.

Asked about a local lockdown in Laois, Offaly and Kildare he said, “Everyone needs to double down their efforts. I’m not going to prejudge further information we get on these cases this evening and tomorrow. We’ve been monitoring these closely.”

He added that he can’t rule out localized restrictions in Laois, Offaly and Kildare but NPHET needs more information.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been informed that 5 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in Ireland have died.

 There has now been a total of 1,768 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland.

As of midnight Wednesday 5th August, the HPSC has been notified of 69 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There is now a total of 26,372 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland. 

Of the cases notified today;

37 are men / 31 are women
65% are under 45 years of age
39 are confirmed to be associated with outbreaks or are close contacts of a confirmed case
2 cases have been identified as community transmission
22 cases are located in Offaly, 19 in Kildare, 8 in Laois, 6 in Dublin, and 14 are spread across eight other counties (Clare, Cork, Donegal, Galway, Limerick, Louth, Meath and Wexford).
The HSE is working to identify any contacts the patients may have had to provide them with information and advice to prevent further spread.

Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said, “We have seen a significant increase in the incidence of COVID-19 over the past week. The reproduction number for the virus is now estimated to be 1.8. A reproduction number of almost 2 is a serious concern, and although we have not yet seen a significant increase in community transmission, there is a significant risk this could develop over the coming days and weeks emphasising the need for each of us to be extremely cautious that we do not contribute to the transmission of the virus.”

Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer, HSE said; “Public Health teams have been informed of the locations of these outbreaks as is routine and contact tracing and testing is taking place as appropriate. Our focus now is on controlling these outbreaks and taking action as necessary.

“We also need people to continue to follow our public health advice and avoid crowds, especially indoors, and limit the number of people you meet. The Department of Health and HSE launched the next phase of our communications campaign today encouraging people to keep up the protective behaviours of physical distancing, washing our hands regularly, wearing a face covering where appropriate and downloading the COVID-19 Tracker app.”

The county by county breakdown is given two days after national figures and so refers to Tuesday night, August 4.

Other nearby counties had some or no new cases.

Carlow - 180 - up one

Dublin - 12,564 - up 9

Kildare - 1,661 up by 10 

Kilkenny - 357 - No change

Longford - 288 - No change

Offaly - 500 - no change.

Tipperary - 546 - up 1

Westmeath - 681 - no change 


The advice remains as follows: 

Everyone should be aware of the risk factors for getting COVID-19:

·    Distance – the risk of getting COVID-19 increases as the distance between you and others gets smaller. Keep 2 metres apart where possible

·    Activity – How you spend time with people and what you do with them can increase your risk. Follow the government’s Stay Safe Guidelines when spending time with others

·    Time – The more time you spend in close contact with other people can increase your risk of getting COVID-19. Keep track of who you spend time with and how

·    Environment – Being outdoors is safer than being indoors. Where possible, meet with others outdoors. If this is not possible, keep windows and doors open when meeting others inside

·    Symptoms – Know the symptoms. If you have them self-isolate and contact your GP immediately