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Coronavirus: Three more deaths and 484 new cases – with 23 in Laois as Taoiseach says new restriction likely before New Year

There have been three more Coronavirus-related deaths and 484 new cases confirmed by the health authorities this evening.

23 of the new cases are in Laois, following on from 13 yesterday, meaning the county’s 14-day incident rate rises to 141.7 compared to the national average of 94.2.

There are now 120 active cases in the county, compared to 96 yesterday. A week ago that figure stood at 47, the same as it was two weeks ago.

Of the cases notified today;

  • 246 are men / 238 are women
  • 59% are under 45 years of age
  • The median age is 37 years old
  • 150 in Dublin, 45 in Wexford, 40 in Cork, 32 in Donegal, 29 in Limerick and the remaining 188 cases are spread across 20 other counties.

As of 2pm today 200 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 31 are in ICU. 30 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said; “The 5-day moving average is 387 per day– this is an indicator that the disease is moving quickly when compared to the previous 5-day average. The virus is spreading throughout the country, in all age groups.

“We are now getting reports of outbreaks in social settings including workplace settings, Christmas parties and funerals. I cannot stress enough how important it is to limit your interactions now. The consequences of not doing so will be exponential growth in January, a substantial increase in hospitalisations and risk to life.”

Dr. Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said; “COVID-19 represents a significant threat to people’s ability to enjoy the Christmas and New Year period.

“Please think about each of your social contacts and consider whether now is the time to be meeting with them. Meet up outside where possible and avoid all crowded settings. If you have symptoms please isolate immediately and contact your GP without delay  – do not go to work and do not meet up with other people. If you are identified as a close contact it is vital that you restrict your movements.

Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said: “The reproduction number is now estimated between 1.1 -1.3.

“We are concerned that Ireland is now in a phase of rapid growth, which if allowed continue, will result in 700 – 1200 cases per day by the second week in January, if not sooner.

“We are particularly concerned about older people and vulnerable adults, who have protected themselves through the second wave, and are now at risk during the festive season.”

Dr. Deirdre Mulholland, Director of Public Health, HSE East, said; “Intergenerational mixing over Christmas, especially in an environment of rapid growth of incidence, poses a significant risk to older and vulnerable people.

“It is so important to reduce your contacts and follow public health advice now, in order to protect lives.”

New Cases in Laois

  • December 16 – 23
  • December 15 – 13
  • December 14 – 5
  • December 13 – 8
  • December 12 – 22
  • December 11 – 9
  • December 10 – 18
  • December 9 – 2
  • December 8 – 3
  • December 7 – 2
  • December 6 – 2
  • December 5 – 0
  • December 4 – 9
  • December 3 – 2

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

  • December 16 – 141.7
  • December 15 – 113.3
  • December 14 – 100.4
  • December 13 – 99.2
  • December 12 – 94.5
  • December 11 – 73.2
  • December 10 – 66.1
  • December 9 – 49.6
  • December 8 – 54.3
  • December 7 – 56.7
  • December 6 – 55.7
  • December 5 – 55.5
  • December 4 – 56.7
  • December 3 – 49.6

New cases in Laois during past 14 days

  • December 16 – 120
  • December 15 – 96
  • December 14 – 85
  • December 13 – 84
  • December 12 – 80
  • December 11 – 62
  • December 10 – 56
  • December 9 – 42
  • December 8 – 46
  • December 7 – 48
  • December 6 – 47
  • December 5 – 47
  • December 4 – 47
  • December 3 – 42

Taoiseach says new restrictions likely before New Year

Taoiseach Micheal Martin has told Six One that NPHET is recommending restrictions on household visits (to one) and on hospitality before the end of the year.

He says the Government to meet next Tuesday to discuss the recommendation.

Restrictions are set to be eased from tomorrow and that has originally planned to be in place until January 6.

The R number is now estimated to be somewhere between 1.1 and 1.3 and NPHET estimates that between 700 and 1,200 new cases per day will be recorded by the second week of January.

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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.