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*Photograph: John Mangan

Clare’s 14 day incidence rate of COVID-19 remains among the lowest in Ireland with less than five new cases of the virus diagnosed in the past 24 hours.

Of the 520 new cases across the country, Clare accounts for less than five of them. The county’s 14 day incidence rate is the fifth lowest in the Republic of Ireland standing at a figure of 53.9.

On Monday evening, NPHET in their breakdown of the cases by county stated 242 are in Dublin, 36 in Meath, 30 in Offaly, 29 in Kildare, 25 in Wicklow and the remaining 158 cases are spread across 20 other counties.

Clare Echo Planning

Close contact transmission was attributed to 60 disease incidence between March 7th and 13th, Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group outlined. “59% of transmissions are occurring in households. Outside of the household, almost half of transmissions are occurring in social gatherings and the workplace”.

Speaking at Monday’s NPHET press briefing, Dr Ronan Glynn detailed that there were a number of outbreaks involving the Traveller community across the country and students with cases also stemming from meat plants. Additional activity occurring around schools such as play-dates was criticised by the Deputy Chief Medical Officer.

There has been one further death related to COVID-19 notified to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC). There has been a total of 4,588 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland.

Critical care numbers have reduced to 81, they are among the 359 persons currently in hospital because of the virus, 14 of which were admitted in the past 24 hours.

Latest vaccine data from Friday indicated that 668,529 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Ireland. 181,063 people have received their second dose

New visitation guidance for nursing homes was described by the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, as “a very welcome development”. He added, “As we begin to experience the benefits of vaccination, it is a reminder of what we are collectively working towards, a vaccination rollout that, along with our other protective measures, will end this pandemic. “People have worked exceptionally hard over the past three months to reduce transmission in our communities. We have shown time and again that we can act collectively to protect one another. Please keep this going over the coming weeks.”

Director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory, Dr. Cillian De Gascun detailed that the B117 variant, Ireland’s most dominant variant of COVID-19 “accounts for more than 90% of our cases and is extremely transmissible. Public health advice aims to limit the opportunities this virus has to spread, and it should be noted that B117 does not need much opportunity to do so. The most effective way to stop the spread of this variant and all variants of COVID-19 is to limit your social contacts and follow public health advice”.

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