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*COVID-19 testing in Shannon. Photograph: Sean Curtin / True Media

Leitrim has surpassed Clare as having the lowest 14 day incidence rate of COVID-19 per 100k of the population.

Less than five new cases of the virus are known in Co Clare among the 582 new cases nationally. The remainder are located in Dublin (193), Wexford (59), Louth (47), Meath (42), Cork (34) with a further 207 cases spread among all other counties.

Clare’s 14 day incidence rate per 100k of the population is at 25.2 and is the second lowest in the country.

An additional six deaths have been notified to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre.

Speaking on Friday, Dr Tony Holohan commented, “Over the past week, we have expressed significant concern that the level of infection was deteriorating day on day. The data today adds further evidence that the situation is getting worse more rapidly than we expected.

“The country simply cannot cope with this level of infection as we head into Christmas week. With vaccines offering hope in the coming months for our most vulnerable groups, we want to keep them alive and well so that they can receive it. Each one of us must do all we can to protect public health – cut your contacts, see only those you need to see. Choose to socialise safely, outdoors if possible. If you see a crowd, avoid it,” the Chief Medical Officer added.

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