*Photograph: Sean Curtin / True Media
8 deaths and 8 new cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in the Republic of Ireland while Co Clare has recorded an additional case for the first time since June 1st.
As of today (Thursday), 86 people are being treated in Irish hospitals for COVID-19, Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group confirmed with typically three people admitted per day. 116 people in hospital daily has been the average, he said.
“Very few admissions” have been reported in intensive care units across the country in the last week, Nolan stated. He flagged that the numbers in ICU decline on a slower rate.
At the peak of the virus, there was a 20% positivity rate for all tests carried out, he added, “it has been declining quite quickly over the past few weeks, it is now below 1%. “The data shows we are doing enough testing, the demand for testing is decreasing”. An impact on whether the further easing of restrictions in phase two has led to an increase in cases will be known in “a week or two”.
He added, “The reproductive number has remained stable, between 0.4 – 0.8 over a number of weeks. The next two weeks are now critical in limiting transmission, keeping the r-number low and suppressing the virus. It is how we interact, as we go about our daily lives more freely, that will determine whether the r-number increases.”
Co Clare has recorded a new case for the first time since the start of June. Detail from Tuesday (June 9th) confirmed that the total amount of cases in Clare is now at 369 representing an increase of one.
Officials from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre have confirmed that 8 more people have died in the country from the virus which means 1,703 have lost their lives as a result of COVID-19. 55% of those to have died were nursing home residents.
In terms of cases, the HPSC have been notified of a further 8 diagnoses bringing to 25,238 the total amount of confirmed cases since the outbreak of the virus.
Within the past week, 64 extra cases have been recorded among Irish healthcare workers. Thus far, 303 healthcare workers have been hospitalised, 44 admitted to ICU and 7 have died.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan rejected the point that the language surrounding face masks has resulted in a minority of the population wearing them.
At a meeting of the National Public Health Emergency Team on Thursday, it was recommended that a national communications campaign needs to be developed and implemented “to increase compliance with current recommendations on the use of face coverings”.
It will outline best practice for use of face coverings in retail outlets, on public transport and in other public locations, where it may be difficult to maintain social distancing.
No confirmation was issued by Dr Holohan that hairdressers and beauty salons would reopen at the end of the month.