The latest Covid figures have been released
NINETEEN new confirmed cases of Covid-19 have been reported in Limerick as we head into the bank holiday weekend.
The latest figures, which are the same as Thursday, mean the 14-day incidence rate in Limerick has risen slightly to 127.7 (per 100,000 population). However, the five-day moving average has dropped from 18 to 17.
Nationally, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been notified of 545 new cases and four additional deaths related to Covid-19.
Of the latest cases, 77% are under 45 years of age and the median age is 29.
A provisional analysis shows 264 are in Dublin, 58 are in Kildare, 50 are in Cork, 29 are in Donegal, 28 are in Galway and the remaining 116 cases are spread across 21 other counties, including Limerick.
Commenting this Friday afternoon, Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health said: “The easing of restrictions is a welcome and deserved turning point in our collective efforts to get through this pandemic. It is a step closer towards the shared national goal of suppressing Covid-19 and protecting the vulnerable."
Dr Holohan has expressed concern about the regional variations of the level of disease. "Incidence around the country varies. Some areas are in a more precarious position than others. For example, while the national incidence rate is 125 per 100,000, Donegal currently stands at 295 per 100,000. This is extremely concerning for public health doctors locally," he said.
"It is important that we look forward now and work together to reduce incidence nationally, but also in our own locality. Your individual actions for the good of your neighbours and community do matter, and they will make all the difference,” he added.
Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, added: “We have achieved a huge amount as a country, but this virus still poses a threat and it is important to stay vigilant and not to drop your guard over the coming weeks. This is especially true for those who have yet to be vaccinated or are particularly vulnerable," he said.
"The important thing to do as society reopens is to continue to risk assess your choices and your environment. Just because something is an option, doesn’t always mean it’s safe. Crowded places and enclosed spaces still carry a risk. If you don’t feel comfortable, or feel a place is too crowded, leave. Encourage your friends and loved ones to continue to follow the basic measures to protect themselves and their families,” he added.
Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group is urging caution as restictions are eased.
“Business owners, employees and customers have received welcome and much-awaited positive news regarding the restarting of our economy. However, it is extremely important that everyone take this time in anticipation of reopening to review their safety practices and protocols. This is for the benefit of us all, but critically for those who they employ. Remember that you have a duty of care to those that work for you, and your patrons and clients. Reopening comes with it the responsibility to mitigate the risk of Covid-19 spreading in your establishment," he said.
“We are all looking forward to seeing one another again for a browse, a coffee, or a meal. But we must do so safely, and in new ways, to ensure this virus is kept at bay for the coming months as vaccination levels continue to increase," he added.