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For the sixth time in nine days, Clare has recorded a single figure daily increase of new COVID-19 cases.

On Monday, the Department of Health confirmed an additional 270 cases across the country, 6 of which are in Clare, 103 in Dublin, 34 in Limerick, 20 in Donegal, 12 in Cork, 9 in Kerry, 9 in Kilkenny and the remaining 77 are split between 19 counties.

One further COVID-19 death has been notified to health authorities bringing the national death toll to 1,948.

Clare’s fourteen day incidence rate (138.9) per 100k of the population remains below the national rate (161.0). A total of 19 counties including Clare fall below the national rate. The country’s rate is among the smallest in Europe with only Estonia, Finland and Norway with lower numbers.

Latest hospital data which is from 2pm on Monday detailed that 12 hospitalisations were recorded over the past 24 hours. Currently 291 persons are being treated for the virus in Irish hospitals, 39 of which are in ICUs.

Speaking at Monday’s press briefing, Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan said it was “certainly too early for celebration” so far as reports of a vaccine were concerned after Pfizer stated its vaccine was 90 percent effective. He confirmed that a vaccine trial was not completed in Ireland, “We’re hopeful that we will be able to see good data when it goes to regulators”.

Dr Cillian De Gascun, Medical Virologist and Director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory noted that the announcement from Pfizer was positive but said the duration of protection is unknown as of yet.

Recommendations from NPHET are expected to be issued regarding Christmas visits. Dr Holohan said it was too early “to speculate” at this juncture about Christmas.

“It has taken the full set of Level 5 restrictions to bring about change,” Dr Holohan commented of the dropping cases in certain counties. He repeated his advice for the public not to wear face visors, “they don’t work”.

NPHET intend to continue with the full Level 5 restrictions for six weeks, Holohan stated. “I don’t see us being in a position to accelerate”.

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