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37 more deaths and an additional 265 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded by health officials with latest figures showing five more diagnoses in Clare.

Cases in Ireland since the outbreak of COVID-19 have surpassed 22,000. 265 new cases were notified to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) as of 11am on Wednesday, of this 160 were in nursing homes. The total figure is now 22,248.

To date, 1,375 people have died from COVID-19 in the country following confirmation of 37 more deaths by the HPSC. One previous death has been de-notified by the HPSC.

As of Monday (May 4th), there are 254 cases in Co Clare. This shows an increase of five in the space of 24 hours. Clare now accounts for 1.2% of all cases in the Republic of Ireland. The figure includes those that have recovered from the virus.

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Of the first 21,929 cases, 70% have recovered, Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan has confirmed. 15,211 people have recovered within their community and 1,399 individuals have been discharged from hospital.

Reports of an erupting black market for haircuts was condemned by Dr Holohan. Incoming President of the Irish Hairdressers Federation, Danielle Kennedy said hairdressers were being offered up to €200 for a haircut from clients, compared to the regular price of €40-€50 before COVID-19.

“It involves close touching of individuals,” Holohan said of hair dressing with people who provide the service being in close contact with clients, “it is a more risky behaviour”. He appealed to those involved in the industry to remember the risks. Of the individuals seeking out the services, he warned they are “introducing a potential risk at an earlier stage”.

A time-frame for under seventies currently cocooning that are unable to work from home was not available when the Chief Medical Officer was questioned at Wednesday’s press briefing. He acknowledged the advice in this regard was “more restrictive” but stressed the safest thing for people to do was to stay at home.

Direct engagement has occurred with the Department of Education surrounding ways for the Leaving Certificate to proceed. Dr Holohan commented that while each member of NPHET sat the Leaving Cert they hadn’t “the expertise or insight on what is involved in the running of the exam”. The Department are currently “trying to examine whether they are in a position to run the examinations that is in keeping with health advice”.

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