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Clare’s 14 day incidence rate of COVID-19 remains the fifth lowest of all counties in the country.

On Thursday evening, the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) stated there were a provisional 14 people diagnosed with the virus in Co Clare. The county’s 14 day incidence rate is 216.3 below the national rate of 397.1.

Nationally, an increase in new cases has been reported. The total of 1,318 is believed to have risen due to the resumption of testing of close contacts. Of the cases, 428 are in Dublin, 122 in Cork, 93 in Galway, 78 in Kildare, 77 in Limerick and the remaining 520 cases are spread across all other counties.

More than 1,000 people have been identified as close contacts leading to NPHET forecasting a further increase in the daily case counts.

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“Significant outbreaks” have emerged in members of the Travelling community and also among Direct Provision centres, Dr Ronan Glynn revealed on Thursday.

An additional 75 deaths are also known. 46 of these deaths occurred in February, 27 occurred in January, 2 were earlier. The median age of those who died is 84 years and the age range is 34-100 years.

As of 2pm today, 1,284 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 188 are in ICU. 74 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

There has been “steady progress” in reducing transmission, Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group stated. “The next few weeks will be difficult for all of us, as we bring the daily case levels below 1,000 per day, our progress will seem to slow down. It is now more important than ever that we continue our efforts to bring case numbers down towards the very low levels we achieved in June and July. In that regard, it is very good news that our estimates of the R number are well below one – in the region of 0.5 – 0.8”.

Prof Nolan added, “I noted last week that the testing of close contacts will impact on case numbers in the coming days. We shouldn’t be disappointed by this, it shows that we have moved from the mitigation phase of the last few weeks, back to the containment phase where we are tracking down every possible chain of transmission.”

Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Medical Officer, Department of Health outlined, “We are noticing a clear pattern in people with symptoms delaying contacting their GP to arrange a test. It is vital that as soon as you notice that you have symptoms of COVID-19 that you isolate and contact your GP immediately. By acting quickly, we can prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect our vulnerable loved ones.”

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