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Co Clare has recorded its biggest daily increase in COVID-19 cases since the beginning of June.

Department of Health officials announced on Wednesday that 15 new positive samples were attributed to Co Clare, representing the highest rise in cases for the county since June 1st.

Nationally, 429 additional confirmed cases are known to health authorities. 189 cases are in Dublin, 60 in Cork, 31 in Donegal, 28 in Galway, 18 in Kildare, 15 in Wicklow, 15 in Clare, 12 in Limerick, 9 in Meath, 8 in Louth, 7 in Cavan, 7 in Longford, 6 in Laois, 5 in Offaly, 5 in Westmeath, with the remaining 14 cases in 8 counties.

One further death has been recorded across the country, 1,804 people have died in the Republic of Ireland since the virus first emerged here in March.

Currently 130 people are being treated for COVID-19 in Irish hospitals, of this 20 are in critical care.

Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ronan Glynn appealed to all organisations to hold off on events that are not necessary. Dr Glynn also asked employers to continue to facilitate remote working. “If this continues we’re going to have a national issue”. He said that the public should act just like they did at the end of February of this year in adhering to advice.

Speaking at Wednesday’s press briefing, Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group noted that the average number of cases reported per day has risen from 256 to 321 with an average of nine hospital admissions daily. He stated, “We appear to have a picture of continuing increase in cases and severity”. 12,500 tests are conducted on average per day, he said, “We have a “very strong testing regimen”. The R number presently stands between 1.2 and 1.4.

Chief Clinical Officer, Dr Colm Henry maintained that community transmission represented “the greatest threat to patients and staff in hospitals and residential care facilities. When you are making plans to meet friends and socialise this week, take a minute to consider our healthcare workers, who have been at the frontline since the beginning of the pandemic, in hospitals, in nursing homes and in our homes, caring for those who are ill and those who are the most vulnerable to this highly infectious virus. Every time you wear a facemask, wash your hands, cover your coughs and keep your distance, your actions are not only preventing the transmission of the virus, but you are also protecting older and vulnerable people and healthcare workers”.

Acknowledging the importance of individuals staying connected, Dr Breda Smyth, Director of Public Health, HSE West appealed that this done be done in safe way and from a distance. “Remember that COVID-19 is a highly infectious disease that can have a devastating impact on your health at any age.”

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