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Coronavirus: 12 further deaths and 379 new cases as teaching union seeks earlier Christmas break

There have been 12 further Coronavirus-related deaths and 379 new cases, according to figures released today.

This brings the overall death toll to 2,006.

Of today’s new cases, one of them is in Laois.

It means the county’s 14-day incidence rate falls from 103.9 to 99.2.

There are now 84 active cases in Laois – a decrease on the figure of 88 yesterday.

Of the cases notified today;

  • 174 are men / 203 are women
  • 64% are under 45 years of age
  • The median age is 36 years old
  • 116 in Dublin, 38 in Donegal, 30 in Meath, 27 in Cork, 22 in Limerick, 22 in Louth, and the remaining 124 cases are spread across all other counties.

As of 2pm today 282 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 33 are in ICU. 22 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said; “Today we sadly report over 2,000 deaths associated with COVID-19 to date in this country. This pandemic has impacted, directly and indirectly, on families and communities all across Ireland.

“It is important that we continue to work together if we are to suppress this virus and protect as many people as possible. For the next two weeks, work from home, stay at home and follow public health advice.”

New Cases in Laois

  • November 17 – 1
  • November 16 – 2
  • November 15 – 1
  • November 14 – 8
  • November 13 – 6
  • November 12 – 1
  • November 11 – 6
  • November 10 – 2
  • November 9 – 7
  • November 8 – 4
  • November 7 – 18
  • November 6 – 8
  • November 5 – 13
  • November 4 – 7

14-day case rate in Laois per 100,000 population

  • November 17 – 99.2
  • November 16 – 103.9
  • November 15 – 111
  • November 14 – 131.1
  • November 13 –  129
  • November 12 – 131.1
  • November 11 – 142.9
  • November 10 – 147.6
  • November 9 – 152.3
  • November 8 – 155.8
  • November 7 – 167.7
  • November 6 – 168.8
  • November 5 – 167.7
  • November 4 – 167.7
  • November 3 – 177.1

New cases in Laois during past 14 days

  • November 17 – 84
  • November 16 – 88
  • November 15 – 94
  • November 14 – 111
  • November 13 – 110
  • November 12 – 111
  • November 11 – 121
  • November 10 – 125
  • November 9 – 129
  • November 8 – 132
  • November 7 – 142
  • November 6 – 143
  • November 5 – 142
  • November 4 – 142
  • November 3 – 150
  • November 2 – 165

Teaching Union seeks longer Christmas holidays 

The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) said serious consideration should be given to closing schools for the Christmas break on the afternoon of Friday December 18 rather than on Tuesday December 22.

It says a longer lead-in time could allow families to gather more safety over the festive period and “protect the wellbeing of all in the school community”.

TUI general secretary Michael Gillespie said stress and anxiety levels remained “extremely high” as a result of a range of worries and concerns over the pandemic.

“This has been an extraordinarily intensive working period, and staff and students are far more fatigued than they would be during a ‘normal’ school year. In this regard, the short extension of the Christmas closure period that we are advocating would be a significant and much needed boost to the morale of all concerned,” he said.

“Closing schools on the afternoon of Friday, 18th December would also potentially allow students and teachers – together, a significant proportion of the population – to restrict their movements for a longer period before meeting vulnerable relatives – grandparents, particularly – at Christmas, should public health advice at the time permit such gatherings.”

But the Department of Education has said that there are currently no plans for this to happen.

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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.