BREAKING Covid-19 making comeback in two big Laois electoral areas as Level 5 lockdown appears to be wearing off

Latest rates from 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 -darker shaded area reflects higher incidence

The likelihood of more people dying from Covid-19 is raised in the latest figures which show suppression has waned in Laois with the number of cases and incidence rising sharply in two of the country's three districts.

The latest Local Electoral Area (LEA) breakdown published on February 11 on the Covid-19 Ireland data hub covers the first two weeks of February, 2-15.

Suppression has been revered in two districts which have jumped ahead of the national incidence following a significant spike in cases. However, there is positive news in the Portlaoise area.

The Datahub figures show that there were 76 new cases in Laois to February 15 in the Portlaoise LEA. This contrast with 118 new cases in the two weeks from January 26 to February 8 and 266 new cases in the previous two-week period up to February 1.

The decline in new cases means the latest incidence remains high but has fallen substantially to 239 per 100,000 population from 371.1 per 100 k. The Portlaoise LEA incidence has also fallen below the national average incidence of 269.3 per 100k in the two weeks to February 15.

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.

Things are not so rosy in the county's two other electoral districts where there have been sharp reversals in progress made during the latest lockdown.

Latest figures show that there were 109 new cases in the Portarlington Graiguecullen LEA. This contrasts to 75 new cases in the fortnight to February 8 and compares with the 110 new cases in the 14 days to February 1.

The growth means the incidence is now 388 per 100 k. This is a big turnaround on the incidence of now 266.9 per 100 k in the two weeks to February 8 and a return to the 391.5 per 100k population in the 14 days to February 1.

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.

Part of the district borders the Tullamore LEA in Offaly which has emerged as a hotspot for the virus. It recorded 157 new cases up to February 15 giving an LEA rate per 100k pop of 538.4 which is nearly double the national average.

The virus has also been revived in the west and south of Laois which has had the lowest incidence of the disease throughout the pandemic.

Latest figures from the Mountmellick to Borris-in-Ossory LEA where there were 79 new cases in the most recent 14 day period measured. There were 60 new cases in the two weeks to February 8. The latest incidence is 318.5 per 100 k for the first two weeks of February. This marks a jump from 241.9 per 100 k in the 14 days before February 8.

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 February 2 to 15 for all of Laois shows that 241 new cases were notified giving a 14-day incidence of 284.5  per 100k. The five-day daily average for new cases was 16 across the county.

It is a marginal improvement on the period from January 26 to February 8 when 243 new cases across the county giving a 14-day incidence of 286.9 per 100k population. It said the average number of new cases daily was 16.

This compares with January 19 to February 1 shows that the average incidence across the county was 348.3 per 100,000 people due to 295 infections. That was a drop from 501 new cases and an incidence of 591.5 per 100k in the two weeks to January 25.

The Laois incidence was 55.5 per 100 k on November 30 which was the last day of the Level 5 restrictions brought in to stem the second wave. Just 45 new cases were reported in the two weeks to November 30.  

Up to date figures published by NPHET up to midnight, February 17 are not good news for Laois.

It now has the fifth-highest incidence of the disease in the country at 303.4 per 100 k due to 257 new cases in the previous two weeks. The five-day moving average has increased to 17.

Laois now has an incidence which is well above the national incidence of 252.9 per 100 k.

MORE DETAILS HERE.