Eleven Coronavirus cases in Cavan in a week

New cases break a previous 10-day run of negative test results for the Breffni County

People are being urged to strictly adhere to Coronavirus guidelines as new cases continue to rise and the start of Phase Four of the easing of restrictions has been further postponed.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) was yesterday informed that five more patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in Ireland have died. It brings to 1,768 the total number of deaths from the virus in Ireland to date.

As of midnight, Wednesday, August 5, the HPSC had been notified of 69 new confirmed cases of Coronavirus. There have now been 26,372 confirmed cases of the virus in Ireland since the first case was recorded on February 29 last.

Eleven Cavan cases

Although no new cases have been reported in County Cavan since the Bank Holiday Monday August 3, the previous week saw 11 new cases confirmed in the Breffni county - six of those all on one day (July 31).

On Friday July 31 alone, there were six new cases reported - at least one of which was through community transmission. It was a blow for County Cavan, which up to July 26, had no new confirmed cases of the virus for the previous 10 days.

The figure of 878 confirmed cases for Cavan is up to date as of August 4, the latest date for which a county breakdown is available. The last day on which any cases were recorded in Cavan was Monday, August 3, when two more cases were confirmed in the county.

County Cavan continues to have the highest number of Covid infections per capita in Ireland and Cavan General Hospital is one of 11 acute medical facilities to have reported a recent rise in suspected cases coming through their doors.

Other hospital sites include St James’ in Dublin, Galway UH, Tallaght, Letterkenny, Mullingar, Portlaoise, Tullamore, Naas, Navan, and UH Kerry.

There are currently five suspected COVID-19 cases in Intensive Care Units nationally.

Of the cases notified yesterday:

- 37 are men / 31 are women

- 65% are under 45 years of age

- 39 are confirmed to be associated with outbreaks or are close contacts of a confirmed case

- Two cases have been identified as community transmission

Twenty-two cases are located in Offaly, 19 in Kildare, 8 in Laois, 6 in Dublin, and 14 are spread across eight other counties (Clare, Cork, Donegal, Galway, Limerick, Louth, Meath and Wexford).

The HSE is working to identify any contacts the patients may have had to provide them with information and advice to prevent further spread.

Dr Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said: “Over the past fourteen days, 226 cases have arisen in Kildare, Laois and Offaly. These represent almost half of all cases in Ireland over that time period.

“While the majority of these cases can be accounted for by outbreaks, this volume of cases is significant and our main priority now is to ensure that these outbreaks do not lead to widespread community transmission in the region.

“NPHET continues to monitor the situation closely. I urge people in these counties to remain vigilant to stop the further spread of COVID-19 in these areas.”

Reproduction rate rises to 1.8

Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said: “We have seen a significant increase in the incidence of COVID-19 over the past week. The reproduction number for the virus is now estimated to be 1.8. A reproduction number of almost 2 is a serious concern, and although we have not yet seen a significant increase in community transmission, there is a significant risk this could develop over the coming days and weeks emphasising the need for each of us to be extremely cautious that we do not contribute to the transmission of the virus.”

Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer, HSE said; “Public Health teams have been informed of the locations of these outbreaks as is routine and contact tracing and testing is taking place as appropriate. Our focus now is on controlling these outbreaks and taking action as necessary.

“We also need people to continue to follow our public health advice and avoid crowds, especially indoors, and limit the number of people you meet. The Department of Health and HSE launched the next phase of our communications campaign today encouraging people to keep up the protective behaviours of physical distancing, washing our hands regularly, wearing a face covering where appropriate and downloading the COVID-19 Tracker app.”

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