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COVID-19 positivity rate now at 20% as Clare records 19 new cases

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*Photograph: Sean Curtin / True Media

19 new cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed in Co Clare among the 1,754 nationally while medical officials have cautioned over 9,000 additional cases will be reported over the next few days.

Concern has also been expressed with the increase in hospital admissions. Between 50 to 70 persons per day are being admitted to the hospital system, the Chief Medical Officer has said, the numbers are expected to rise even further. “The most concerning trend at present is the rapidly increasing number of people being admitted to hospital,” he stated.

As of 2pm on Friday, 504 persons were in Irish hospitals as a result of the virus with 47 of this tally in ICU.

Clare’s 14 day incidence rate of the virus per 100k of the population is at 234 with the national equivalent standing at 321.3.

There are 19 new cases of Coronavirus in Clare, the Department of Health have confirmed. Of the 1,754 new cases in the Republic of Ireland, 523 in Dublin, 296 in Cork, 180 in Galway, 104 in Mayo, 94 in Kerry and the remaining 538 cases are spread across all other counties.

An additional eleven deaths have been notified to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre meaning 2,248 individuals have now died from COVID-19 in the country.

According to the Department of Health, the positivity rate for the virus is now at 20.7 percent rising from 5.0 percent on December 18th.

“Significant pressure” is also on the reporting system, Dr Tony Holohan commented. He pointed to the positivity rate as “a true increase” of the incidence of the disease at present. “What is clear are the measures that the Government has now mandated and the behaviours that we as individuals need to observe. Everyone needs to stay at home other than for essential work or care,” he stated.

Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, explained, “Tests processed and reported on a given day will normally be validated and confirmed by the HPSC the following day. Positive tests detected in laboratories require validation (to remove duplicates and other tests that do not create new cases) and transfer to the HPSC database before confirmation and reporting”.

Prof Nolan added, “A very large volume of positive tests in recent days means there is a delay in formal reporting. In excess of 9,000 additional new cases will be reported over the coming days. The reporting delay does not affect case management or contact tracing or our overall monitoring and modelling of the pandemic.”

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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