By Carmel Hayes
COVID cases increased by 82% nationally over the past week, compared with the previous week.
The figure was given this evening by chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan, who said cases increased to 6,382 over the past seven days, compared to 3,514 in the previous week, a rise of 82%.
Meanwhile, the latest 14-day incidence rate shows that Laois had 32 new cases yesterday, the highest-ever daily rise in the county. The previous highest was on Friday 2 October, when there were 28 new cases.
Three deaths and 1,205 new cases nationwide were announced this evening, with 288 in Dublin, 173 in Cork, 123 in Meath, 97 in Galway and 63 in Cavan. The remaining 461 cases are spread across all remaining counties.
The county breakdown published this evening shows that Laois had just three new cases on Tuesday, when the number was not given by the Department of Health. The county breakdown is published a day later than national figures.
However, the provisional incidence rate figures for midnight last night (Wednesday 14 October) reveal that Laois had 32 new cases yesterday. The county had 136 new cases in those 14 days.
This gives Laois an incidence of 160.6 cases per 100,000, which is still lower than 18 other counties. As of last night, only seven other counties had a lower Covid incidence than Laois.
The current figure of 568 for Laois on the HSE website and Covid Tracker App relates to midnight on Tuesday and will not be updated until tomorrow evening. The addition of yesterday’s 32 cases, unless there are denotifications in the meantime, will bring the total number to 600 since the pandemic began.
Of today’s cases nationally, 71% are under 45 years of age and the median age is 34.
As of 2pm today, 241 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised nationwide, including four at Portlaoise hospital. A total of 29 are in ICU, including one in Portlaoise. There were 24 additional hospitalisations nationally in the past 24 hours.
Dr Holohan said: “There have been further increases across all key indicators of COVID-19 and the growth rate of the epidemic has accelerated since NPHET last met.
“Cases notified over the past week have increased by 82% compared with the previous seven days, from 3,514 to 6,382 cases.
“The positivity rate over the past seven days is now 6.2% and is continuing to increase.
“The 14-day incidence in those aged 65 years and older has increased from 92.9 per 100,000 population on 7th October to 125 per 100,000 population on the 14th of October.
“The number of hospitalisations is increasing faster than the exponential growth modelling predicted. This indicates a rapidly deteriorating disease trajectory nationally.”
Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said “The reproduction number appears to have increased and is now at 1.4 nationally. Modelling shows that if current trends continue, by October 31st, the number of cases notified daily would be in the range of 1,800 – 2,500 cases, with over 400 people in hospital.”
Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer, HSE, said; “The challenge we have now is much greater than earlier this year, as we are trying to suppress COVID-19 while maintaining our non – COVID services and providing safe environments in our acute settings.
“The higher the community transmission the more difficult it is to protect medically vulnerable people in all healthcare settings. We appeal to everyone to play their part in protecting patients, healthcare workers and frontline services.”