The Covid-19 test centre at the St Fintan's Health Campus on the Dublin Road in Portlaoise
Laois was one of the first counties in Ireland to be hit by the fourth wave of Covid-19 but the county's incidence is now the third lowest in the Republic.
While test processing has slowed, the latest official figures from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) data shows that in the seven days to midnight November 22, there were 442 new cases confirmed in Laois.
This gives an incidence of 521.9 per 100,000 population. This represents less than half of the cases detected in that last two weeks.
The number of cases in the past two weeks in Laois has also dropped below 1,000. There were 930 positive test results in the 14 days since November 9 giving an incidence of 1098 per 100k of population.
This 14 day rate puts Laois as having the third lowest incidence in the country behind Wicklow and Wexford.
The daily number of cases in Laois on average over five days is now 63. This is down from a peak of 89 a day earlier November.
The Laois seven and 14 day incidence rates have dropped below the national incidence averages.
At one point in November the county had the fourth highest incidence of the virus in Ireland.
Nationally 60,399 positive tests were returned in the two weeks to November 11 giving an incidence of 1268.4 per 100 k. Just over half of these or 30,849 were detected in the past seven days. The seven day incidence rate is 647.8 per 100k.
On average, 4,514 new Covid-19 infections are being detected in Ireland each day at present.
No counties in Ireland have a two week incidence rate below 1,000 per 100k. Westmeath has the highest 14 day incidence of 1770.9 per 100 k on the back of 1,572 new infections in two weeks.
It remains to be seen if the incidence level will grow again if PCR testing is ramped up to meet the demand for testing.
NPHET says day to day variation in the reported number of cases of COVID-19 does not impact on key trend analysis. It adds that analysing over a longer time period such as a week or 14 days, smooths out any variations introduced by processing times, and provides a more stable picture of the trend.
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