*Swabbing for COVID-19 testing in Ennis. Photograph: John Mangan
A quarter of all COVID-19 cases over the past two months in the Mid-West have occurred in individuals aged between 15 to 24 while Co Clare has been praised for doing “a remarkable job”.
Over the six week period from October 25th to December 5th there have been 1,641 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Mid-West. Of these, 338 are in Clare, 209 are in North Tipperary and 1,094 are in Limerick.
Broken down by age demographic, 405 of cases occurred in individuals aged between (15-24), 245 (25-34), 221 (45-54), 212 (35-44), 150 (5-14), 142 (55-64), 99 (65-74), 69 (75-84), 60 (0-4), 38 (85+).
Speaking in glór on Monday, Dr Mai Mannix said “outbreaks associated with third level colleges, mostly related to the socialising that happens as opposed to the colleges itself” were the reason for the 15-24 age-group having the highest rate.
She stated, “Clare has done a remarkable job. The numbers in Clare have been fantastic over the last few weeks and are down to single figures”. On Tuesday evening, the county had the lowest 14 day incidence rate per 100k of the population, in the country.
Chief Officer with Mid-West Community Healthcare, Maria Bridgeman cautioned that the easing of restrictions will lead to a possibility that numbers will increase again. “Those of us in community services need to start responding now and be ready”.
Bridgeman outlined that “a military-like operation” would be followed when it comes to the roll-out and staffing surrounding the vaccine for the virus. She acknowledged that the recruitment and retention of staff was “a particular challenge”.
Leas Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, Cllr Pat Burke (FG) urged the Clare public to continue to follow public health advice over the Christmas period which “remains the same”. He stated, “We must remind people when they are going out or wherever they are going to follow the guidelines”.