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08 Dec 2021

Covid-19 spike in Portlaoise but chinks of light in latest figures for Laois

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

covid-19

Darker shaded areas show where virus is more prevealent

Every part of Laois has a higher than average rate of Covid-19 but there is a small chink of light in one electoral area where the incidence fell on the back of smaller number of new case.

Unfortunately, the county is no longer an isolated hotspot for the virus which is rampant around Ireland, latest local figures show.

The latest Local Electoral Area (LEA) figures published on November 18 show the virus incidence between November 2 and November 15.

The Covid-19 Ireland data hub. figures, which are based on health service confirmed positive tests, show that the levels of infection in all three Laois municipal districts are higher than the national average. 

The Portarlington Graiguecullen Municipal District continues to have highest incidence followed closely by the Portlaoise Municipal District with the less populated Borris-in-Ossory Mountmellick in third but also above the national average.

The Portlaoise figures show that there were 428 cases in the 14 days examined. This contrasts with 377 new cases in the two weeks to November 8. The incidence has climbed 1346.2 per 100,000 population from 1185.8 per 100k at the end of the first week of November.  There were 273 new cases in the Portlaoise area to November 1 giving an incidence of 858.7 per 100k people at the time. 

The national 14 day incidence per 100 k was 1,160.7 by November 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. It borders Kilkenny.

The latest figures from the Portarlington Graiguecullen LEA reveal case numbers and incidence fell . There 390 new cases in the two weeks to November 15 giving an incidence of 1388.1 per 100 k.

This compares with 399 new cases in area over the two weeks to November 8 giving an LEA rate of 1420.1 per 100k.

There were 293 new cases in the 14 days to November 1. This gave an incidence of 1042.9 cases 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 incidence has risen again in the Mountmellick / Borris-in-Ossory LEA after showing signs of slowing in early November.

There were 292 new cases in the two weeks to November 15 giving an incidence of 1177.1 per 100 k. This compares with 276 new cases in the two weeks to November 8 gave an incidence of 1112.6 per 100 k. There were 243 new cases in in the fortnight to November 1 giving an incidence of 979.6 per 100k.

The situation is still better than 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. MORE ON SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT IN LAOIS BELOW LINK.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) tracks the spread of the disease for NPHET.

Evidence that most other counties have lost control of the virus later than has happened in Laois is found in the latest HPSC figures to midnight November 16. While they show smalls signs of improvement in the Laois they reveal situation in most other counties has deteriorated badly.

There were 509 officially confirmed new Laois cases since November 10. This is down 80 on the previous seven day period when the incidence was 695.4 per 100k. The seven day incidence to November 16 in Laois fell to 601.0 per 100 k.

The two week figures remain the acid test. There were 1099 new cases in Laois between November 3 and 16 giving an incidence of 1297.6. This is higher than the 987 new Laois cases in the two weeks after October 27, which gave a 14 day incidence of 1165.3 per 100k.

There are positive signs in other new figures. Just over 46% of cases in Laois detected in the past two weeks were confirmed in the week to November 16. This compares with nearly 60% of new Covid-19 infections over 14 days occurring in the week to November 9 according to the HPSC figures.

The Laois seven day incidence is below the national average but 14 day incidence is above the national averages.

Another positive sign is located in the five day average. There were 65 new cases on average each day over five days between November 12 and 16. This compares with 89 new Laois cases a day on average over five days to November 11. 

The HPSC report also shows that Laois has the eleventh worst record of Covid-19 containment in the 26 counties. That's improvement on the fourth worst at one stage during the virus.

There have been 8334 officially confirmed infections in Laois since the start of the pandemic up to November 15. Of these, 2385 were recorded since the start of October 2021. Just over a 1,000 cases were confirmed in the first two weeks of November. MORE BELOW LINK.

National figures published by NPHET on November 18 reveal 4,650 new cases of of the virus. This compares with 3,680 confirmed a week earlier on November 11. 

As of 8am Thursday, November 11 there were 543 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of whom 97 are in ICU. A week later by 8am November 18 there were, 643 COVID-19 patients in hospital of whom 118 are in ICU.

Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said: “Approximately 1 in 6 people in Ireland experienced COVID-like symptoms such as cough, sore throat, high temperature or other flu like symptoms in the past week.

“The single most important action you can take if you experience any symptoms of COVID-19 is to self-isolate and arrange a PCR test – not an antigen test. If you want to avoid passing COVID-19 or other respiratory illnesses on to your friends, family or work colleagues, rapidly self-isolating as soon as your symptoms begin is the most important thing you can do.”

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