07 Jul 2022

Rural Laois areas worst hit by Covid-19 driving growth of infections countywide

Laois has the eight highest incidence in Ireland


Darker shaded areas show where virus is more prevealent

The Covid-19 Delta variant spread in Laois has risen again and is worsening with the least populated part of the county showing the highest incidence of the virus.

The latest Local Electoral Area (LEA) figures, published on October 14 show that the virus spread in Laois has spiked again. At the start of September the Covid-19 Ireland data hub, showed that Laois had the second lowest incidence of any county in Ireland. The latest figures for the two weeks to October 11 show that the county has the eight highest rate.

The rise is being driven by the Borris-in-Ossory Mountmellick Municipal district and the Portarlington Graiguecullen Municipal District. Both have incidence rates that are amongs the highest in the country. The Portlaoise District's incidence was below the national average between September 28 and October 11.

These figures show that there were 95 new cases in the Portlaoise area to October 11. This gives an incidence of 298.8 per 100,000 people. The national incidence was 394.2 per 100 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. It borders Kilkenny.

The latest figures from the Portarlington Graiguecullen LEA also show that there were 147 new cases in the second half of the month giving an incidence of 523.2 per 100k. 

The population in this LEA is 28,096. Apart from the two big towns the district includes Stradbally, Timahoe, Ballylinan, Ballyadams, Killeshin, Crettyard, Killenard, Ballybrittas. It borders Kildare, Carlow, Kilkenny and Offaly. 

The situation most acute in the Mountmellick / Borris-in-Ossory LEA which is the least densely populated part of Laois. There were 125 new cases in in the fortnight to October 11 giving an incidence of 503.9 per 100k.

With 24,807 people it includes Rathdowney, Mountrath, Durrow, Castletown, Camross, Errill, Clonaslee and Rosenallis. It borders Tipperary, Offaly and Kilkenny.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre tracks the spread of the disease for NPHET. Latest figures published by the HPSC to midnight October 17 shows that there were Laois 257 cases since October 11 giving a seven day incidence of 303.4 per 100k. It showed that there were 447 new cases since October 4 giving an incidence of 527.8 per 100k.

The Laois seven and 14 day incidences are above the national averages. There are 35 new cases a day on average over five days in Laois.

The HPSC report also shows that Laois has the eight worst record of Covid-19 containment. Offaly has the best rate in Ireland by October 17.

The report published by the HPSC on October 11 shows that the situation has worsened in Laois. At the time it said that Laois had 181 cases in the previous seven days given an incidence of 213.7 per 100k. It reported that there were 321 in the previous 14 days giving a county wide incidence of 379 per 100 k. At the time there were 30 new cases a day in Laois.


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