Louth’s Covid-19 incidence rate continues to increase

The number of Covid-19 cases confirmed in Louth increased by a further 22 in the latest figures published by the National Public Health Emergency Team last night.

This brings to 1,963 the total number of cases in the county as of midnight on Wednesday November 22nd.

There have now been 226 new cases in the county in the last 14 days with the 14 day incidence rate per 100,000 population now standing at 175.4. This is the third highest nationally and is well above the national average of 116.5.

Only Donegal (264.5) and Limerick (221.7) now have higher 14-day incidence rates than Louth although both of their rates have fallen in the latest figures while Louth’s has risen.

There has been a total of 2,010 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland.

As of midnight Wednesday 18 November, the HPSC has been notified of 429 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There has now been a total of 69,473 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland.

Of the cases notified last night:

  • 194 are men and 234 are women
  • 69% are under 45 years of age
  • the median age is 34 years old
  • 173 in Dublin, 44 in Cork, 26 in Donegal, 22 in Louth, 21 in Kildare and the remaining 143 cases are spread across 20 other counties

As of 2pm yesterday, 290 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 33 are in ICU. There have been 15 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said: “In our objective to use a six-week period to drive down COVID-19 infection in the community, our progress has stalled in the last week.

“We now have two weeks to get back on track. Drive down the disease by limiting the number of daily contacts you have. Work from home, stay at home and follow public health advice to get us to a reproduction number below 0.5 by December 1st.”

Dr. Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said: “Deaths associated with COVID-19 have increased by 18% in the European region over the past fortnight. Last week alone, Europe registered over 29,000 new deaths. That is one person dying every 17 seconds. We have made significant progress in Ireland over recent weeks, but the disease and its risks have not changed. Please continue in your efforts to follow public health advice, limit the transmission of COVID-19 in Ireland and protect those who are most vulnerable in our families and across our communities.”

Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said: “For 3 weeks we saw case numbers declining at a rate of 5 – 7% per day and a reproduction number as low as 0.6. We are aware that case numbers have now stopped declining and as a consequence the reproduction number has increased to an estimated 0.7 – 0.9.

“The data strongly suggests that a small, recent increase in the level of social contacts has led to the increase in reproduction number we see now. A small additional effort to reduce our contacts will make a big difference to reduce disease incidence before December 1st.”

Dr. Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer, HSE: “This pandemic has placed huge demands on our healthcare workers in addition to the standard care of patients. Their work now involves additional infection prevention and control measures which require constant vigilance and awareness. The best way we all can show our appreciation for their work is by doing your part to reduce community transmission.”