By Carmel Hayes
THE Covid rate in Laois has dropped slightly but the county still has the fifth highest virus rate in Ireland.
Laois has ten new cases, bringing the Covid incidence to 294 per 100,000 people.
This is down from 297.5 yesterday but is still far higher than the national average of 240.
Laois had 249 newly confirmed Covid cases during the 14 days up to midnight last night. For the fifth day in a row, Laois comes fifth of the 26 counties today in terms of virus levels.
Nationally, one death and 686 new cases were reported this evening.
Since the pandemic began, there have been 4,137 deaths out of 215,743 confirmed cases.
At 8am today, 726 Covid patients were hospitalised, of whom 156 were in ICU. There have been 33 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.
Portlaoise hospital had nine confirmed Covid patients last night, including two in ICU.
As of last Friday, 340,704 doses of Covid vaccine have been administered: 214,384 people have received their first dose and 126,320 have received their second.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn commented today: “We continue to see really high levels of compliance amongst the population and this is having a positive impact on the levels of disease in our communities.
“It is also having a positive impact on our hospitals – while last week there were 269 cases in healthcare workers and four outbreaks in our hospitals, these represent a very significant reduction compared with the 839 cases and 15 outbreaks in the week to the 7th of February.
“In time, vaccination will be our most powerful tool against Covid-19 and, over the coming weeks, those who are highest risk in our families and communities will get vaccinated.
“Our collective efforts move us closer to the continued reopening of our schools and the resumption of non-COVID healthcare services.”
|County||Today’s cases (to midnight 21/2/21)||5 day moving average||14-day incidence rate per 100,000 population||New cases during last 14 days|