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Daily COVID-19 numbers dropping but public vigilance must persist

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*Photograph: John Mangan

Daily figures of COVID-19 cases may be dropping at present but the Clare public cannot afford to let down its guard.

Clare’s 14 day incidence rate per 100k of the population reached a new-high of 1621.8 on Friday last but reported a drop as the days have passed, earlier today this figure dropped below 1000 for the first time since January 7th. Within the past fortnight, Clare has recorded more than 1,500 new cases of COVID-19, the amount of which of these are being announced per day has also decreased.

Despite initial positive trends, the level of infection remains high in the Mid-West. As of January 19, according to Computerised Infectious Disease Reporting [CIDR] data, there have been 170 deaths associated with COVID-19 in the Mid-West region since March 2020. Approximately 50% of these deaths were in long-term care facilities and nursing homes.

Outbreaks are currently being managed and investigated in nursing homes, long-term care facilities and workplaces in the Mid-West.

Dr Mai Mannix, Director of Public Health Mid-West told The Clare Echo, “While we have seen few indications of slowdown in the transmission of the disease, the level of infection remains significantly high across the region. The third wave continues to leave its devastating impact on our community as we are a still some time away from seeing signs of relief. Right now, we are in no position to drop our guards or be complacent, which is why we need to hold firm, stay at home, and strictly follow public health guidelines.

Speaking at Tuesday’s meeting of the Ennis Municipal District, Director of Service Carmel Kirby emphasised the need for efforts to curb the spread to be maintained. “The COVID numbers are coming down but it is more important than ever that people stay at home and in their bubbles, don’t start coming out just because the numbers are coming down, it is now even more important for people to keep going and keep it up”.

Corofin representative, Cllr Joe Killeen (FF) issued a similar call at this week’s meeting of the West Clare Municipal District. “We need to call on the people in our area to abide by public health advice and to continue to isolate, to reduce their interactions and reduce the overall numbers. Our health system is under a lot of pressure at the minute and the pressure will continue to ramp up. We hope people will be mindful of the advice and take control of the situation to lower the numbers”.

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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