Portlaoise area has best Covid-19 record but Laois incidence rose on eve of lockdown being lifted

Highest incidence now in Mountmellick, south and west parts of Laois as rate also rises in Port Graigue area

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Email:

news@leinsterexpress.ie

COVID-19 map shows Portlaoise has highest rate in Laois

This map provides a visualisation of the 14-day Incidence rate per 100,000 population of COVID-19 cases at the Local Electoral Area (LEA) level.

The most densely populated part of Laois around Portlaoise now has the lowest incidence of Covid-19 while the area the includes, Mountmellick, Mountrath and Rathdowney has the highest incidence for the first time after a rise in cases.

The latest Local Electoral Area (LEA) breakdown which is updated weekly on the Covid-19 Ireland data hub is based on figures in the 14 days from November 17 to 30. They also show that the incidence in the county increased on the eve of Level 5 lockdown measures being eased.

It shows that there were just 14 new cases during the two week period in the Portlaoise area. This gave a rate of infection of 44 per 100,000 population. This is down from 56.6 per 100k for the last period measured up to November 23.

The total population of the Portlaoise local electoral area is 31,794 people with more than 20,000 living in the county town environs. It includes Abbeyleix, Ballyroan and Ballinakill which is located close to the border with Kilkenny.

However, the incidence worsened in the other two Laois LEAs.

There were 19 new cases in the two weeks to November 30 in the Portarlington Graiguecullen area giving an incidence rate  now 67.6 per 100 k. The incidence there in the two weeks to November 23 was 49.8 per 100k. 

The population of this area is 28,096. It also includes Stradbally, Timahoe, Ballylinan, Ballyadams, Killeshin, Crettyard, Killenard, Ballybrittas. It borders Kildare, Carlow, Kilkenny and Offaly.

The most concerning trend is found in the west and south-west of the county - the Mountmellick to Borris-in-Ossory LEA. The latest report shows that an incidence of 72.6 per 100 k on the back of 18 cases. This compares with 56.4 per 100k in the 14 days to November 23.  

The district is less populated, with 24,807. It includes Rathdowney, Mountrath, Durrow, Castletown, Camross, Errill, Clonaslee and Rosenallis. It borders Tipperary, Kilkenny and Offaly.

The figures from the three areas show that Portlaoise was the only LEA below the county rate in Laois on November 30 which was 55.5 per 100,000. The national rate in the two weeks up to the eve of Level 5 being lifted across Ireland was 88 per 100k.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HSPC) reported that the county-wide incidence of the disease in the two weeks to November 23 was 49.6. This put Laois at the second-lowest rate of infection in Ireland.

Up to date figures published by the National Public Health Emergency Team on Sunday, December 5 reveals that the incidence in Laois is 55 per 100k on the back of 47 cases in the previous two weeks. The county has now the 12th best record in the county by county breakdown. 

The past week has seen two days without any new cases but cases spiked on Friday due to a glitch in the HSPC computer system.

There have now been 1,005 cases in Laois since February.

More on the local area breakdown here