05 Jul 2022

One Laois area now one of Ireland's Covid-19 Delta hotspots as with level high in all parts


covid-19 laois portlaoise

Covid-19 heat map for the two weeks to July 26. Darker areas shows parts of counties with higher incidences

A more densely populated Laois electoral area is one of Ireland's Covid-19 hotspot with nearly 200 cases found in the past two weeks while higher than average infection levels across the county mean Laois has one of the worst levels of infection in Ireland.

The latest Local Electoral Area (LEA) figures as published on July 29 on the Covid-19 Ireland data hub breakdown covers the period from July 13 to July 26. More up to date countywide figures show a slight improvement.

The situation had been relatively steady in Portlaoise through July but worsened latter half of the month. There were 127 cases in the county town up to July 26. This gave a population incidence of 399.4 per 100,000 while the Republic of Ireland rate is 344.2 per 100k.

There there were 58 new cases in the district between July 13 and 26 when the LEA incidence rate was  182.4 per 100,000 population.

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.

While the situation is bad in Portlaoise, the latest figures from the Portarlington Graiguecullen LEA show the situation deteriorating significantly to being a Delta wave hotspot.

There were 178 new cases in the area in the 14 days to July 26. This gives an LEA rate per 100k of 633.5 one of the worst in Ireland.

The worsening of the situation in the area, dominated by two big border towns, is reflected by the fact that there were 92 new cases up to July 19 compared with 25 new cases in the 14 days to July 12. The incidence rate has risen from 89 per 100k at the end of June. 

Part of Portarlington is in Offaly which means the town could have a higher rate. The same can be said of Graiguecullen which borders Carlow town. The district has a substantial border with Kildare with Athy a shopping town for many.

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

The situation has worsened also in the Mountmellick / Borris-in-Ossory LEA where the population is largely rural.

A total of 91 new cases were detected in the two weeks to July 26 which gives a population rate of 366.8 per 100k.

It contrasts to 55 people testing positive in the two weeks to July 19 and 21 people testing positive in the two weeks to July 12. The incidence has risen sharply from from 84.7 per 100k by July 12.

In the 14 days to June 28 there were less than 5 cases in the LEA while the rate per 100k pop was also less than 5 cases per 100k. 

The district is less populated than the others. With 24,807 people it includes Rathdowney, Mountrath, Durrow, Castletown, Camross, Errill, Clonaslee and Rosenallis. It borders Tipperary, Offaly and Kilkenny. MORE BELOW LINK.


Health Protection Surveillance Centre figures up to July 26 for all counties show that Laois had the third worst incidence of the disease in Ireland.

The 14 day incidence rate was 466.4 per 100k on the back of 395 cases in two weeks. Just over 60% of those were detected in the seven days to July 26. The seven day incidence was 289.3 per 100k

The average number of new cases per day over five days was 31 a day.

More up to date figures show a slightly improving situation. HPSC figures for the two weeks to July 28 show that there were 420 cases in Laois in the 14 days, giving a two week incidence rate of 495.9 per 100k. However, about half of the cases were detected in the previous seven days meaning an incidence of 252.7 over a full week. The five day moving average had fallen to 28 per day by July 28.

Proof that the situation worsened in July is show in the fact that there were 194 new cases in Laois up to July 19. Of these 145 were recorded in the seven days to the end the recording period. There were 99 new cases in the two weeks to July 12. The 14 day incidence is 227 per 100 k but the seven day incidence is 171.2 per 100 k.  

At one point in the last week Laois had the second highest incidence of the virus in Ireland with about 35 cases a day.

Laois has now fallen back to having the sixth highest rate as the Delta rate sweeps the country.

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