BREAKING: Covid-19 surge slows in all Laois electoral areas but the spread is above average around two big towns

A lot done but more to do for Portlaoise, Portarlington Graiguecullen, Borris Mountmellick Local Areas

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Email:

news@leinsterexpress.ie

Covid-19 new cases surge in Portlaoise

Laois Local Electoral Area Covid-19 map up to January 18 - darker shaded areas reveal highest incidence

Covid-19 lockdown sacrifices being by Laois people in suppressing Covid-19 could finally be paying off but the most populated parts of the county continue to have stubbornly above-average incidences while the entire county has virus rate which is ten times the December 1 level, according to the up to date official figures.

The latest Local Electoral Area (LEA) breakdown published on January 28 on the Covid-19 Ireland data hub covers the number and incidence in the middle of January from the January 12-25. 

The Data hub figures show that there were 246 new cases in the two weeks measured across the Portlaoise LEA over the 14 days period. This contrasts with 343 new cases in the Portlaoise LEA in the two weeks surveyed January 5-18 when the incidence was 1078.8 per 100,000 population.

The decline in new cases means the latest incidence remains high but has fallen substantially to 773.7 per 100k. However, this is above the national average incidence of 721.1 per 100,000 k.

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 and numbers have also reduced substantially in the Portarlington Graiguecullen LEA. There were 215 new cases in the 14 days to January 25 leading to an incidence of 765.2 per 100k population.

While the incidence in the area is above the national average, it is a big improvement on the earlier weeks in January. There were 357 in the two weeks to January 18 and 404 in the 14 days to January 11. The incidence per head of population is now half the January peak which was 1437.9 per 100 k. 

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.

There has also been an improvement in the west and south of Laois - the Mountmellick to Borris-in-Ossory LEA. 

It had 109 new cases in the two weeks to January 25 give an incidence of 439.4 per 100 k. There were 171 new cases in the 14 days up to January 18 when an incidence of 689.3 per 100 k was recorded. 

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.

Health Protection Surveillance Centre figures for all of Laois from January 12 to 25 show that there were 501 new cases giving an incidence of 591.5 per 100k. Just one part of Laois, the Borris Mountmellick LEA, had an incidence lower than this. It contrasts to the incidence was 933.9 per 100 k in the 14 days to January 18.

While numbers of are falling a big decrease in cases will have to be achieved to get to a point that the county was at at the start of December 2020 when many businesses reopened after the October to December lockdown was lifted.

The Laois incidence now is nearly 10 times bigger than the 55.5 per 100 k on November 30 which was the last day of the  Level 5 restrictions. Just 45 new cases were reported in the two weeks to November 30.  

Meanwhile, the 14-day national incidence up to January 25 was returned at 721.1 per 100 k on the back of 34,336 new cases. The national incidence in the two weeks to January 18 was 1,334.6 per 100k due to 63,551 new cases. 

Up to date figures published NPHET up to midnight, January 27 show that the Republic's overall incidence rate has fallen further to 621.9 per 100 k population due to 29,614 cases in 14 days. The daily number of new cases on January 27 was 1,466 which included just 15 new Laois cases. MORE DETAILS HERE.

Laois had 427 new cases in the 14 days up to midnight January 27 giving an incidence rate of  504.2 per 100 k.