One of the first batches of Covid-19 vaccines used in Portlaoise hospital
Nearly 40% of all confirmed Covid-19 cases during the pandemic in Laois have emerged in the first two weeks of January while the month also saw the first coronavirus death in Laois since the first half of November.
The National Public Health Emergency Team's report for the first two weeks of January shows that there were 848 recorded cases in Laois in the fortnight to January 14.
This 14 day total represents over 38% of the 2,199 total cases in Laois recorded since last March.
The rapid rise in January follows a trend that began in the middle of December after the Level 5 restrictions were lifted
Central Statistics Office figures reveal the extent of the spread through December in Laois. In the week to December 11 there were 56 new cases which was more than double the number for the week ending December 4.
A week later by December 18, there were 100 new cases. In the seven days to Christmas day, there were 90 while in the week to New Year's Day there were 380 cases followed by 356 up to January 8.
CSO figures published on January 15 also show that there have now been 30 deaths in Laois with the latest officially recorded in the week to January 8.
Laois had not recorded a death before that until the week ending November 13. However, there had been six consecutive weeks of deaths in Laois to that point.