Laois emerges as a new 'warm' spot for Covid-19

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

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news@leinsterexpress.ie

New testing criteria implemented

Coronavirus Covid-19 test

A system that tracks referrals of patients for Covid-19 testing by GPs around Ireland has flagged Laois as one of the 'warm' counties for the coronavirus, according to a doctor who participates in the system.

Prof Tom O'Dowd is one of the hundreds of family doctors around Ireland in the GPBuddy COVID-19 Community tracker which is the result of a collaboration between front line GPs, and GP IT and Data specialists. It collects data daily GPs and shares.

Prof O'Dowd, who is attached to Trinity College's medical school, told Morning Ireland on RTÉ that based on Thursday's Buddy data, Laois is one of the 'warm spots' for new referrals from family doctors. Other counties include Carlow, Wexford and Wicklow.

Prof O'Dowd said that the GPBuddy tracker has predicted the re-emergence of the virus as it has increased in recent weeks.

Anybody with Covid-19 symptoms must first contact their GP. Not every patient will be referred to a test centre. Prof O'Dowd, who is vice-President of the Irish College of General Practitioners, said that of the seven patients who contacted him in his Dublin practice on Thursday, two ended up going for a test.

After a turbulent August which led to new restrictions in Laois, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) disease outbreak report said there were 20 new cases identified in Laois over the last week of August and the first week of September. The is an incidence of 23.6 per 100,000 of the population wich is lower than the 38 per 100,000 national average.

After a number of days of no new cases, the HSPC confirmed on Thursday that six new cases had been identified bringing to 402 the total number of infections since February.

The Laois Offaly Education and Training Board also confirmed on Thursday a case had been identified at the Dunamaise College secondary school in Portlaoise.