Coronavirus cases in Laois
Laois has has another double figure rise in Covid-19 cases this Friday evening, the last shopping weekend before Christmas.
There are 10 more cases confirmed for the county, pushing Laois up to the sixth worst county in Ireland for rates of recent infection.
Nationally there are 582 new cases, as Dr Tony Holohan says "the country simply cannot cope with this level of infection as we head into Christmas week".
The new cases reported to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre mean that the incidence in Laois remains higher above the national average. It is now 149.9 per 100,000 on the back of 127 cases in the past two weeks. The national average rose to 100.8 per 100 k as the virus rapidly spreads again.
The latest figures according to the latest figures from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) push Laois higher into the top ten in terms of infection incidence. During the lockdown, it had the second-lowest rate at one point.
Laois ranks below neighbouring Carlow and Kilkenny but above Offaly, Kildare and Tipperary. See county by county table at the bottom of this story.
There have been 1,125 Covid-19 cases officially confirmed in Laois since February.
The Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health said today's figures show a more rapid deterioration than expected.
“Over the past week, we have expressed significant concern that the level of infection was deteriorating day on day. The data today adds further evidence that the situation is getting worse more rapidly than we expected.
“The country simply cannot cope with this level of infection as we head into Christmas week. With vaccines offering hope in the coming months for our most vulnerable groups, we want to keep them alive and well so that they can receive it.
“Each one of us must do all we can to protect public health - cut your contacts, see only those you need to see. Choose to socialise safely, outdoors if possible. If you see a crowd, avoid it. By choosing to act safely right now, together we can limit the impact this disease will have in the weeks and months to come - and in doing so, we can protect the vulnerable and prevent unnecessary deaths," he said.
NPHET also announced that the Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been notified of 6 additional deaths related to COVID-19. There has been a total of 2,149 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland.
As of midnight Thursday 17th December, the HPSC has been notified of 582 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There is now a total of 78,254 * confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland.
Of the cases notified today NPHET highlighted 193 in Dublin, 59 in Wexford, 47 in Louth, 42 in Meath, 34 in Cork and the remaining 207 cases are spread all other remaining counties.
As of 2pm today 198 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 34 are in ICU. 13 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.
Other details show that 310 are men / 265 are women, 60% are under 45 years of age and the median age is 38 years old.
The COVID-19 Dashboard provides up-to-date information on the key indicators of COVID-19 in the community.