Drop of COVID-19 cases continues in Co Clare as caution issued regarding Christmas contacts

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*Photograph: John Mangan

Clare has recorded no new cases of COVID-19 in a period of 24 hours for the first time since September.

On Thursday, the Department of Health confirmed there were no new cases of the virus in Co Clare. It is the first time since September 8th that such a scenario occurred.

Over the past fortnight, there have been 51 cases of COVID-19 in Clare. The 14 day incidence rate per 100k of the population is 42.9 which is the sixth lowest in the country.

In an update on Thursday, the Department of Health confirmed that five cases in Clare had been de-notified by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC).

Nationally, there are a total of 183 new cases. These are located in Dublin (56), Donegal (26), Limerick (13), Kilkenny (11), Monaghan (21) with the remaining 66 cases spread among 15 counties.

An additional six deaths have been notified to the HPSC. The death toll from Coronavirus in the Republic of Ireland stands at 2,080.

Speaking at Thursday’s press briefing, Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group advised that admissions to hospitals were “coming down but coming down very slowly”. He said this was happening much slower compared to the first wave. “A constant” amount of personnel receiving treatment in intensive care units has been observed, he said.

As of 2pm on Thursday, 239 persons were in hospital receiving treatment for the virus, 32 of which are in ICUs.

Professor Nolan outlined that an average of five to six deaths per day were recorded over the last five weeks. He detailed that case counts were not expected to drop further in the next week to ten days.

He said the approach to Christmas has a rate of infection that is three to four times higher than what NPHET would prefer. “We really do advise extreme caution over contacts per week”.

“It is a time of year when we think of family,” Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ronan Glynn remarked as he urged the public to consider the impact of their social contacts now ahead of Christmas and the potential risk that could be transmitted.

Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan added, “Just because things are allowable doesn’t mean we should rush out and do them”.

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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