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*Photograph: Sean Curtin True Media

Co Clare has not recorded an increase in COVID-19 cases, latest figures have revealed.

In what is the first occurrence since August 27th, there has been no increase of COVID-19 cases in Co Clare. It comes on a day 102 positive cases have been reported across the country. These are located in Dublin (56), Leitrim (11), Galway (6) with the remaining 29 in Carlow, Cavan, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Tipperary, Westmeath and Wexford.

No increase in deaths has been reported, 1,777 people have died since the emergence of the virus, the most recent of which was a month ago.

Currently 49 people are being treated for COVID-19 in Irish hospitals with 6 confirmed case in critical care units. Over the past week, 22 new cases have been associated with workplace outbreaks, 11 of which are in meat plants.

Speaking at Monday’s press briefing, Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ronan Glynn stressed the need for “all precautions” to be taken in two counties, namely Dublin and Limerick. He stated that anyone living or working in either of the counties must reduce their social contacts.

“We are monitoring with growing concern the number of cases nationally, particularly in Limerick and Dublin. The next seven days are vital; everyone needs to reduce their contacts and assume any person you do meet may be carrying the virus”. A breakdown of cases between Limerick City and County was not in the Acting Chief Medical Officer’s possession.

Professor Pete Lunn, ESRI Behavioural Research Unit referred to recent findings one of which included that meeting outdoors “makes a big difference” in combatting the virus. He was worried that “around half of the public” say they would contact their GP if they show one of the symptoms for COVID-19, “If you have any symptoms you should be making the call and phoning your GP”.

A delay in carrying out testing in Direct Provision centres “was simply because they wanted to assure the process carried out was planned appropriately and had full engagement with representative groups,” Dr Glynn explained.

He detailed that too many individuals are wearing visors as opposed to face coverings. “Visors do not give the same level of protection as a face covering”. Dr Glynn also encouraged people to focus less on case numbers and more on the patterns and messages being put across by NPHET.

Consultant in Public Health Medicine with the HSE, Dr Abigal Collins clarified at Monday’s press briefing that a case in a school does not mean there is an outbreak in that setting and that it was more likely to be as a result of a community case involving family members.

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