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*Photograph: Joe Buckley

59 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Co Clare.

Clare’s 14 day incidence rate per 100k of the population has reached a new high of 1519.1 which is the ninth highest figure in the country. A total of 1,805 new cases have been diagnosed in the county over the past fortnight including the 59 announced on Wednesday.

Across the country, 3,569 new cases are known. 1,119 are in Dublin, 416 in Cork, 200 in Galway, 182 in Louth, 169 in Waterford, and the remaining 1,483 cases are spread across all other counties.

A statement from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has reported an additional 63 deaths related to the virus. Of these, five occurred in November, one in December and 56 in the month of January, the date of death for one instance remains under investigation.

Latest hospital data from 2pm shows that 172 persons are in critical care among the 1,770 in hospitals. 133 additional hospitalisations were reported in the past 24 hours.

Progress is visible with regard to daily case numbers and positivity rates, the Chief Medical Officer stated. “We can take some hope in them, but we have a long, long way to go. In the coming weeks ahead, we will need to draw upon our reserves of resilience from springtime as we can expect to see hospitalisations, admissions to ICU and mortality related to COVID-19 increase day on day.”

Dr Tony Holohan added, “The best way that we can all support one another now is to stay apart. Sadly, what we are seeing now is a result of the very high daily confirmed case numbers we experienced for successive weeks. To ensure our hospitals and loved ones remain protected, and stay alive to receive the vaccine, please continue to follow public health advice and stay home”.

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