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06 Dec 2021

Laois Covid-19 infection incidence drop in two areas but Portlaoise has got worse

Laois has second lowest incidence in Ireland

covid-19

Darker shaded areas show where virus is more prevealent

Laois slowly declining fourth wave incidence of Covid-19 with latest virus tracking figures showing an incidence drop in two areas but a worsening of figures in Portlaoise.

Up to date data also shows that Laois has the second lowest incidence of Covid-19 in Ireland down from a peak of fourth worst hit during a peak of the latest surge.

The latest Local Electoral Area (LEA) figures published on November 25 show the virus incidence between November 9 and November 22.

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

The Portlaoise area now has the highest incidence while there has been improvement in the Portarlington Graiguecullen Borris-in-Ossory Mountmellick Municipal Districts.

The Portlaoise figures show that there were 457 new cases in the two weeks. This compares with 428 cases between November 2 and 15. The incidence has climbed to 1437.4 from 1346.2 per 100,000 population. It is possible that a chunk of the Portlaoise cases could be traced to the Midlands Prison where 47 inmates and an unidentified number of staff tested positive in an outbreak first detected on November 4.

The national 14 day incidence per 100 k was 1,268.4 by November 25.

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 again. There were 330 new cases in the electoral area giving an incidence of rate of 1174.5 per 100k population.

This contrasts with 390 new cases in the two weeks to November 15 giving an incidence of 1388.1 per 100 k. There were 399 new cases in area over the two weeks to November 8 giving an LEA rate of 1420.1 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 fallen again in the Mountmellick / Borris-in-Ossory LEA which has the best rate in the county. There were 228 positive tests in the two weeks to November 25. This gave an rate of 919.1 per 100k pop.

There were 292 new cases in the two weeks to November 15 giving an incidence of 1177.1 per 100 k. Some 276 new cases were confirmed in the two weeks to November 8 gave an incidence of 1112.6 per 100 k. 

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 TABLES.

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

Latest HPSC figures show that Laois now has the second lowest incidence of any county in Ireland in the two weeks to November 23.

There were 411 officially confirmed new Laois cases in the week to midnight November 23 giving a seven day incidence of 485.3 per 100 k.

The two week figures remain the acid test. It slowly falling in Laois. The 904 cases since November 10 give an incidence of  1067.3 per 100 k.

This compares with 1099 new cases in Laois between November 3 and 16 giving an incidence of 1297.6. 

There are positive signs in other new figures. Just over 45% of cases in Laois detected in the past two weeks were confirmed in the week to November 23. 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.

Both the Laois seven day and 14 day incidences are below the the national averages.

Another positive sign is located in the five day average. There were now 59 new cases detected on average each day over five days between November 19 and 23. This compares with 89 new Laois cases a day on average over five days to November 11. 

There have been 8801 officially confirmed infections in Laois since the start of the pandemic up to November 23. 

The National Public Health Emergency Team reported on Thursday, November 25 that the Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been notified of 4,764 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

As of 8am Thursday, it said 598 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of whom 126 are in ICU.

Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said: “Incidence of COVID-19 remains concerningly high, with 62,401 cases reported in the last 14 days. We need to continue to make every effort we can to drive down incidence of disease and break the chains of transmission.

"COVID-19 spreads when an infected person is in close proximity to other people. The best way we can stop COVID spreading to the people we meet is by meeting fewer people and avoiding crowds.

"If you are socialising, think about the risk associated with the activities you have planned," he said.

He urged people to remember the simple steps you can take to keep both you and the people you meet with safe:

  • Wear a mask correctly
  • Meet outside if possible
  • Avoid poorly ventilated indoor spaces
  • Practice good hand and respiratory hygiene
  • Be mindful of your contacts in the days after socialising, and especially consider anyone you meet who may be immunocompromised or vulnerable to COVID-19. 

"If you experience symptoms isolate immediately and arrange a PCR test – not an antigen test,” he added.

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