LIMERICK'S previous daily high number of Covid cases (209 reported yesterday) has been more than tripled this Sunday evening.
The Department of Health has reported 652 cases in Limerick to midnight on Saturday, January 2. Prof Philip Nolan, the chair of Nphet's Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, has spoken in recent days about a backlog of confirmed cases.
The 14-day Covid incidence rate per 100,000 population in Limerick has jumped from 594.7 yesterday to 895.3 today. There have been 1,745 new cases in the county in the last 14 days.
As of midnight, Saturday, January 2, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) has been notified of 4,962 confirmed cases of Covid-19. There is now a total of 101,887 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland.
Of the cases notified today: 1,260 cases are in Dublin, 652 in Limerick, 350 in Cork, 321 in Louth, 238 in Meath and 2,141 spread across all remaining counties.
2,408 are men / 2,539 are women; 63% are under 45 years of age - the median age is 36 years old.
The HPSC has today been notified of seven additional deaths related to Covid-19. There has been a total of 2,259 Covid-19 related deaths in Ireland.
As of 2pm today, 685 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 62 are in ICU. 96 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said: "This is a critical time. We are seeing a really significant surge in infection, which is leading to a very rapid increase in both hospitalisations and admissions to critical care units. This is not only unsustainable for the healthcare system, but also a deeply concerning level of preventable sickness and suffering that we must work together to address as quickly as possible.
"The number of people in hospital with Covid-19 has more than doubled from this day last week, and so has the number of people in ICU. Remember that behind each hospital statistic and ICU figure is a real person like you, with a family who cares about them, and a team of healthcare workers dedicated to protecting their lives. We must be as dedicated as we all were in the spring in our commitment to following the public health advice.
"Act as though you are infectious. Stay at home. Work from home starting from tomorrow, and if you are an employer, ask your employees to work at home. What we all do at a collective level today will have a direct impact on the level of infection and hospitalisations in the weeks to come.
"Your safe actions now will protect our hospitals and those who work so hard in them. Simply put: when you stay at home, you protect the frontline healthcare workers who have worked tirelessly to keep us all safe throughout this pandemic. Hold firm and remember them."
The Covid-19 Dashboard provides up-to-date information on the key indicators of Covid-19 in the community.
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