BREAKING: Covid-19 surge accelerates through Laois doubling in two electoral areas

Portarlington Graiguecullen district worst hit followed by Portlaoise with Borris-Mountmellick a close third

Covid-19 new cases surge in Portlaoise

Laois Local Electoral Area Covid-19 map up to January 11 - darker shaded areas reveal highest incidence

Covid-19's spread through Laois through Christmas has accelerated beyond the first week of 2021, doubling in Portlaoise and Portarlington and Graiguecullen electoral areas with the rate of spread almost rising as fast in the Mountmellick Borris-in-Ossory electoral area.

The latest Local Electoral Area (LEA) breakdown published on January 14 on the Covid-19 Ireland data hub covers December 29 to January 11. 

The Covid-Data hub figures show that there were 282 new cases in the Portlaoise LEA in the two weeks surveyed. This compares to the 138 cases in the two weeks to January 4 - the previous recording period. The jump in cases means the new incidence has doubled to 887 per 100,000 population.

The population of the Portlaoise LEA is 31,794 people with more than 20,000 living in the county town environs. It includes Abbeyleix, Ballyroan and Ballinakill.

The situation has deteriorated even further since Christmas in the Portarlington Graiguecullen LEA. There were 404 in the 14 days to January 11 compared to 224 confirmed cases in the two weeks to January 4. The incidence has doubled in just a few days to 1437.9 per 100k from 797.3 per 100 k on January 4. It also contrasts to just 81 cases in the 14 days to December 28 when the incidence 288.3 was per 100k. 

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

The area borders the Edenderry LEA, Carlow town which is in the Muinebeag LEA, the Athy LEA in Kildare and the Castlecomer area in Kilkenny. All are hotspots for the virus.

The situation has also deteriorated in the west and south of Laois - the Mountmellick to Borris-in-Ossory LEA. 

It had 181 new cases up to January 11 which compares to 103 new cases in the two weeks to January 4. The latest cases have produced a rate of 729.6 per 100 k which is significantly up on the 415.2 per 100k population. 

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

The national incidence in the two weeks to January 11 more than doubled to 1,410.3 on the back of 67,157 which was double the 32,112 new cases identified in the 14 days to January 4. The incidence nationally in the 14 days before December 28 was 245.6 on the back of 11,697 nationally.

Health Protection Surveillance Centre figures for Laois for in the two weeks to January 11 reveal 744 new cases producing a 913.8 incidence per 100 k population.  The Laois incidence was just 55.5 per 100 k on November 30 which was the last day of the October to November Level 5 restrictions. Just 45 new cases were reported in the two weeks to November 30.

Up to date figures published NPHET up to midnight, January 14 show that the Republic's overall incidence rate has risen to 1,497.0 per 100 k population on the back of 71,286 to January 13.

Laois had 807 new cases in the 14 days up to midnight January 13 giving an incidence rate of  952.8 per 100 k. Laois has one of the lowest incidences of the virus in Ireland despite the rate of spread and the high numbers.

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