*Photograph: John Mangan
Nine more people have died from COVID-19 while Co Clare is eleven days in a row without an increase in cases.
Following confirmation of a further nine deaths, it means that 1,763 people have died from COVID-19 in the Republic of Ireland. Eight of the nine deaths occurred in April, May and June. Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ronan Glynn outlined that 1,014 of these lives lost have been associated with outbreaks in long-term residential care facilities.
Officials within the Health Protection Surveillance Centre have been notified of an additional 7 cases bringing the nation’s total to 25,826. Presently, there are 14 confirmed cases in hospitals and 6 in critical care.
For the eleventh day in succession, Co Clare has not recorded any additional COVID-19 cases. A total of 369 individuals have tested positive for the virus since March, one of which was in the past month.
Clare 369 (0)
Kilkenny 356 (0)
Roscommon 346 (0)
Kerry 316 (0)
Longford 287 (0)
Laois 267 (0)
Wexford 223 (0)
Carlow 179 (0)
Waterford 166 (0)
Sligo 148 (0)
Leitrim 83 (0)#Covid_19 no additional cases in 19/26 counties.
— Páraic McMahon (@thepmanofficial) July 23, 2020
Speaking at Thursday’s press briefing, Dr Glynn was concerned the public were dropping standards in relation to minimising the spread of the virus, “Don’t drop your guard even though you are on holidays”. He revealed that his biggest concern was that “people are forgetting to physically distance” and he pointed out that COVID-19 only spreads when people come into contact with each other.
Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group described the decreasing of the R value has welcome news but emphasised “it is tempered by the fact that this novel virus is still with us, and it only needs our complacency to spread widely once again as it wants to do. This is a long game. As we head into the weekend and beyond, we must continue to remain vigilant in order to keep this progress up”.
“We still think that the R number is above 1 which means the virus is still spreading in our communities,” Glynn said.
A potential surge in cases influenced the decision not to reopen pubs, Dr Glynn commented. “Pubs are one of the highest risk environments, it is one of the reasons we paused that, we were concerned about the disease”.
Resumption of non-COVID-19 healthcare services remains a top priority,Dr. Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer with the HSE stressed. “The greatest enabler of this will be our ability to keep community transmission at a low level. We can all play our part in ensuring our hospitals and care settings resume their vital work by following public health advice”.