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03 Dec 2021

Covid-19 spread spikes in Portlaoise, Portarlington and Graiguecullen areas

All parts of Laois higher than national average Covid-19 infections

covid-19

Darker shaded areas show where virus is more prevealent

The incidence of Covid-19 in Laois is showing no signs of slowing with rate of infection highest around Portarlington and Graiguecullen while the situation in and around Portlaoise has worsened sharply.

The latest Local Electoral Area (LEA) figures, published on November 4 shows the virus spread between October 19 and November 1. The Covid-19 Ireland data hub. figures, which are based on health service confirmed positive tests, show that the level of infection in all three Laois municipal districts is higher than the national average. 

The Borris-in-Ossory / Mountmellick Municipal District continues to have a very high coronavirus incidence but the situation has improved in the past week.

However, the situation has deteriorated in the highly populated parts of the county  - the Portarlington Graiguecullen Municipal District and the Portlaoise Municipal District.

The figures show that there were 273 new cases in the Portlaoise area to November 1. This gives an incidence of 858.7 per 100,000 people. The national incidence was 695 per 100 k. The Portlaoise incidence rose above the national average since the previous analysis period.

There 182 new cases confirmed in two weeks from October 12 to 25 led to an incidence of 587.1 per 100 k which was below the national average at the time. 

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 reveal that it is now the worst hit part of the county. There were 293 new cases in the 14 days to November 1. This gave an incidence of 1042.9 cases per 100k. 

There were 219 new cases in the fortnight to October 24 giving a 14-day incidence rate of 779.5 per 100k of the population.

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 has eased in the Mountmellick / Borris-in-Ossory LEA but it continues to have one of the worst levels in Ireland with hundreds of new cases identified.

Despite being the least densely populated part of Laois which should mean a lower incidence, there were 243 new cases in in the fortnight to November 1 giving an incidence of 979.6 per 100k.

The situation has improved compared to the two weeks to October 24 when 303 new cases led to an incidence of 1221.4 per 100k of the population - double the national average at the time.

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 (HPSC) tracks the spread of the disease for NPHET. 

Latest figures published by the HPSC to midnight November 2 shows that there were 382 officially confirmed cases since October 27. This gave a seven day incidence of 451 per 100k. There were 681 new cases since October 20, giving a 14 day incidence of 804.0 per 100k.

Just over 56% of new Covid-19 infections occurred in the week to November 2 according to the HPSC figures.

The Laois seven and 14 day incidences are above the national averages. There are 54 new cases a day on average over five days in Laois.

The HPSC report also shows that Laois has the seventh worst record of Covid-19 containment in the 26 counties.

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