Home News BREAKING: Department of Health confirms increase in Coronavirus cases in Laois

BREAKING: Department of Health confirms increase in Coronavirus cases in Laois

As of Sunday March 22, there are now eight confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Laois.

This is an increase of two from the most recent figures which are from Saturday March 21.

Today’s data from HPSC, as of midnight, Sunday March 22, which examines the first 965 cases, reveals:

  • 55% are male and 45% are female, with 44 clusters involving 243 cases
  • the median age of confirmed cases is 45 years
  • 277 cases (29%) have been hospitalised
  • of those hospitalised, 36 cases have been admitted to ICU
  • 247 cases (26%) are associated with healthcare workers
  • Dublin has the highest number of cases at 535, (55% of all cases) followed by Cork with 123 cases (13%)
  • of those for whom transmission status is known: community transmission accounts for 47%, close contact accounts for 23%, travel abroad accounts for 31%

Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said; “We are now in the crucial weeks of our response to COVID-19. All actions we take are based on epidemiological evidence and in proportion to our experience on this island.

“As we learn more about this disease, we are prioritising who will be tested. If you are not in a priority group, you might not be tested. However, if you have the symptoms, assume you have COVID-19 and isolate yourself.”

Dr. Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said; “Priority groups for testing include close contacts of a confirmed case with symptoms, healthcare workers with symptoms and people who are vulnerable with symptoms.

“Whether you are tested or not, the advice remains the same; if you have any symptoms, assume you have COVID-19 and isolate yourself for 14 days to help stop the spread of this disease. Household contacts of a suspected case should restrict their contacts for 14 days.”

Dr. Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer, HSE, said; “14,692 samples have been tested at the NVRL, of which 93% returned negative.

“Ireland is following WHO advice to “test, test, test” and is in the top quartile in terms of number of tests we have performed per capita. This, alongside physical distancing measures and intensive contact tracing, is deemed best practice internationally for dealing with this threat.”

Analysis of public health contact tracing has shown that the average number of close contacts per confirmed case has decreased from 20+ to the region of 5 contacts. This shows that the public is following health advise and actively limiting the amount of people they engage with.

Latest Data – Sunday March 22

Important information 

Symptoms of Covid-19 include:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever
  • Breathing difficulties.

Further resources:

  • The HSE: Official advice on the coronavirus in Ireland. This is being updated based on the number of confirmed cases and how the virus spreads in Ireland.
  • The Department of Foreign Affairs: Official advice on where to avoid travelling to. Also a resource for those who are abroad.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO): The UN agency on global public health publishes statements and daily situation reports based on the latest data.
  • European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC): The EU agency on the number of cases, deaths and how it’s spreading in Europe.
  • The Johns Hopkins University map: A heat map of the confirmed cases across the world.

A helpline for older people who are concerned about the coronavirus has been launched by Alone. The number is 0818 222 024, and it’s open Monday to Friday, 8am-8pm.

SEE ALSO – For more Coronavirus stories click here

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.