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Coronavirus: 357 new cases as unfairness of Laois, Kildare and Offaly lockdown highlighted

There has been a total of 357 new cases of Coronavirus have been diagnosed in Ireland today.

Of these, 218 of these are in Dublin, 18 in Louth, 12 in Waterford. 11 in Kildare, 9 in Cork, 8 in Kerry, 8 in Limerick, 8 in Meath, 7 in Westmeath, 6 in Wicklow, 5 in Offaly, 5 in Roscommon, 5 in Mayo, 5 in Tipperary and the remaining 32 cases are located in Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Donegal, Galway, Kilkenny, Laois, Leitrim, Monaghan, Sligo and Wexford.

60 of these cases have been identified as community transmission – meaning that the source of infection cannot be determined.

There is now a total of 31,549 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland.

Sadly, there have been three new deaths – meaning 1,787 is the death toll still.

Dr. Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said; “In the first half of 2020, Ireland responded swiftly to a new and unpredictable pandemic.

“Our collective response suppressed the curve, saved lives and put us on a solid foundation to deal with COVID-19 going forward.

“Now, we must focus on our response to the pandemic in the medium term. Today, Government launched a 5-Level framework. At the heart of this framework are three core messages;

“1. Simple measures taken by everyone are our best defence against COVID-19.

“2. No single measure will work in isolation, what matters is combination prevention.

“3. Continued cooperation and solidarity across society remains central to our response.

“The basic preventions against the spread of COVID-19 remain unchanged; wash your hands regularly, physically distance from others including friends and family, wear a face covering, know the symptoms and what to do if you experience them.”

Unfairness of Laois, Kildare and Offaly lockdown highlighted

Back on August 7, Laois, Kildare and Offaly were placed under a local lockdown that many people, especially those in Laois, found very hard to take.

It lasted in Laois for two weeks and meant hotels and restaurants were forced to close while so too were pubs (that were selling food) and people were instructed not to leave the county or come into it.

The metric, we were told, for determining this at the time was the incidence rate of the virus in the three counties.

Kildare had 82.25, Offaly had 80.81 and Laois had 69.66. Right now, Dublin’s 14-day incidence rate is 95.1 – substantially higher than Laois were one month ago.

However, under the government’s new plan, Laois is treated the same as Dublin save for the fact that Dublin’s wet pubs will not be permitted to reopen on Monday September 21 while spectators in the capital will not be allowed to return to sporting events.

Laois people felt the lockdown was unfair last month and these numbers would certainly back up that opinion.

Everyone should be aware of the risk factors for getting COVID-19:

  • Distance – the risk of getting COVID-19 increases as the distance between you and others gets smaller. Keep 2 metres apart where possible
  • Activity – How you spend time with people and what you do with them can increase your risk. Follow the government’s Stay Safe Guidelines when spending time with others
  • Time – The more time you spend in close contact with other people can increase your risk of getting COVID-19. Keep track of who you spend time with and how
  • Environment – Being outdoors is safer than being indoors. Where possible, meet with others outdoors. If this is not possible, keep windows and doors open when meeting others inside
  • Symptoms – Know the symptoms. If you have them self-isolate and contact your GP immediately

Public Health Advice for all citizens available here: 

Know the symptoms of COVID-19

SEE ALSO – Jamie Dowling: Shining a light on suicide in men on World Suicide Prevention Day

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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.