BREAKING: Covid-19 surge in Portlaoise drives up Laois incidence despite slower spread elsewhere in the county

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 18 - darker shaded areas reveal highest incidence

A Covid-19 spread rise in Laois is the result of an jump in Portlaoise's incidence while the spread has slowed in the Portarlington and Graiguecullen and the Mountmellick Borris-in-Ossory electoral area though a large number of cases continue to be confirmed in both.

The latest Local Electoral Area (LEA) breakdown published on January 21 on the Covid-19 Ireland data hub covers the period January 5-18. 

The Covid-Data hub figures show that there were 343  new cases in the Portlaoise LEA in the two weeks surveyed. This compares to the 282 cases in the two weeks to January 11 - the previous recording period. The jump in cases means the new incidence has risen 1078.8 per 100,000 population up from 887 per 100 k.

The spread of the virus had been relatively stable in Portlaoise until the past seven days. However, the latest escalation puts the electoral area into a category of LEAs in Laois, Offaly, Kildare, Carlow and Kilkenny which are disease hotspots. (see map above).

It is also the only local electoral area in Laois where the disease spread continues to rise.

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 incidence has reduced in the Portarlington Graiguecullen LEA  but there were still more than 350 cases and it remains a hotspot for the virus due to a continued high incidence per head of population.

There were 357 in the two weeks to January 18. This compares with to 404 in the 14 days to January 11. This means the incidence has fallen to 1270.6 per 100k from 1437.9. 

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 situation has changed marginally for the better also in the west and south of Laois - the Mountmellick to Borris-in-Ossory LEA. 

It had 171 new cases up to January 18 - which was ten less than the two weeks to January 11. The latest cases have produced a rate of 689.3 per 100 k which is down from 729.6 per 100 k. 

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 18 was 1,334.6 due to 63,551 new cases. The incidence dropped to 1,410.3. The incidence had doubled in the two weeks to January 11 on the back of 67,157.

Health Protection Surveillance Centre figures for Laois for in the two weeks to January 18 reveal 791 new cases which is higher than the 744 new cases in the 14 days up to January 11.

As a result, the incidence has been pushed up to 933.9 per 100 k from 913.8 per 100 k population. It did rise above 1,000 per 100 k during the latest recording period.

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 20 show that the Republic's overall incidence rate has fallen further to 1140.7 per 100 k population but the number of new cases remains high at 54,318. The daily number of new cases on January 20 was 2,608 which included 45 new Laois cases.

Laois had 684 new cases in the 14 days up to midnight January 20 giving an incidence rate of  807.6 per 100 k. The county has the 8th lowest incidence on January 20.

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