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Coronavirus: 3,955 New Cases; 28 Deaths Reported Today

National news updates on Thursday 14th January.

Latest Figures:

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been notified of 28 additional deaths related to COVID-19.

26 of these deaths occurred in January 2021. The date of death for 2 of these reported death remains under investigation.

There has been a total of 2,488 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland.

As of midnight, Wednesday 13th January, the HPSC has been notified of 3,955 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There is now a total of 163,057* confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland.

Of the cases notified today:

  • 1,826 are men / 2,115 are women

  • 54% are under 45 years of age

  • The median age is 42 years old

  • 1,210 are in Dublin, 456 in Cork, 235 in Louth, 221 in Meath, 218 in Limerick, and the remaining 1,615 cases are spread across all other counties.

As of 2pm today, 1,789 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 169 are in ICU. 154 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said: “Today we are giving some more information on the 208 people who have been reported to have sadly died from COVID-19 so far this month. Of these, 23 cases have been linked to outbreaks in hospitals and 38 with outbreaks in Nursing Homes. The ages of those who have died range from 25 to 98 years. Every death associated with COVID-19 is a tragedy. We must cut our social contacts in order to break the chains of transmission and protect those who are most vulnerable to this disease. Stay at home and save lives.”

Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said: “COVID-19 is having a very significant impact on our health system. The best way we can protect ourselves and each other is by staying home and only leaving home for essential journeys. We have the power to change the trajectory of the disease in our communities. We must hold firm and continue to stay home.”

Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said: “From an epidemiological perspective, what we are seeing in this wave is different to what we have seen since springtime, and perhaps worse. The penetration of the virus throughout all ages of the population is a particular cause for serious concern, as is risk of severe disease that all of these people face. Poor health outcomes, risk of serious or long-term illness and hospitalisation remain a risk for us all when it comes to COVID-19. That is why we must follow public health advice and protect not only ourselves but our hospital system and healthcare workers by staying at home.”

Dr Cillian De Gascun, Medical Virologist and Director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory said: “It is not unusual for viruses to mutate over time. We have identified multiple different SARS-CoV-2 lineages in Ireland since the start of the pandemic, and 2 of the 3 recently emerged variants of concern from the UK and South Africa. We also expect that more variants will emerge across the world in the coming months.  While some of the new variants will increase the risk of becoming infected because they have increased transmissibility – they can stick longer and better to surfaces – this does not mean that our continued adherence to the public health advice is in anyway less effective. We must continue to wash our hands, wear a face covering where appropriate, maintain our social distance and continue to adhere to the public health advice.”

Mr Liam Woods, Director of Acute Hospitals, HSE said: “Our hospitals and our frontline healthcare workers are working under the enormous strain COVID-19 is exerting on our health service. 1,789 patients are in hospital with COVID-19, 169 of those in intensive care. The best way we can protect our health service and support our frontline workers is to stay home and continue to adhere to the public health advice.”

Today’s cases, 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 population and new cases in last 14 days (as of midnight 13 January 2021) (incidence rate based on Census 2016 county population)

 

County

Today's cases

(to midnight 13Jan2021)

14-day incidence rate per 100,000 population (31Dec2020 to 13Jan2021)

New Cases during last 14 days

(31Dec2020 to 13Jan2021)

Ireland

3,955

1,497.0

71,286

Monaghan

66

2,793.8

1,715

Louth

235

2,461.9

3,173

Limerick

218

2,085.7

4,065

Waterford

113

1,904.0

2,212

Wexford

124

1,792.0

2,683

Mayo

83

1,709.5

2,231

Dublin

1,210

1,684.0

22,689

Carlow

47

1,591.4

906

Clare

124

1,578.1

1,875

Cork

456

1,567.8

8,511

Donegal

154

1,546.6

2,462

Cavan

74

1,543.8

1,176

Meath

221

1,266.9

2,471

Kilkenny

43

1,218.4

1,209

Kerry

55

1,137.4

1,680

Kildare

118

1,118.2

2,488

Sligo

24

1,106.3

725

Galway

217

1,093.6

2,822

Roscommon

39

1,061.3

685

Offaly

34

1,028.7

802

Laois

60

952.8

807

Longford

7

949.3

388

Tipperary

94

941.4

1,502

Westmeath

33

772.8

686

Wicklow

95

766.0

1,091

Leitrim

11

724.0

232

 

Special schools:

Special schools and special needs students in primary schools will be able to return to classrooms from next week.

Special students will be able to access in-person education on a phased basis from Thursday January 21st. 

This will also apply to children who are not in a special class but have significant additional needs. 

Discussions are still underway in relation to secondary school students. 

Minister for Education Norma Foley says they are working towards a return to school for everyone when it is safe to do so:

An Post:

An Post is providing every household in the country with two free-to-send postcards.

The company says the initiative, which was first launched last spring, was reintroduced to brighten up the new year. 

An Post are also prioritising older members of the community with a free newspaper delivery service, a "check-in" service and delivering letters to and from nursing homes free of charge. 
 

Vaccine roll-out:

4 million people could be vaccinated in Ireland against Covid 19 by the end of September. 

The Health Minister has sent updated projections saying 7.5 million doses should arrive between April and the end of September.

Stephen Donnelly already said 700,000 people should be vaccinated by the end of March.

Dr. Denis McCauley is Chair of the Irish Medical Organisation's GP Committee, he says the vaccine rollout will speed up significantly once doctors are allowed administer it:

A leading medical expert claims the country's Covid-19 vaccine programme is 'unambitious' - with only 'a trickle' of doses arriving. 

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly says up to 2.2 million people could be vaccinated by the end of June.

But there are calls for Ireland to intensify the process, and buy vaccines outside its agreement with the European Union. 

Ireland is to get 1.1 per cent of the EU group order - but Dr Jack Lambert, a professor of infectious diseases in UCD, says the pace is too slow:

Leaving Cert:

Last night's Fianna Fáil parliamentary party meeting heard calls for this summer's Leaving Cert to be scrapped. 

Some TDs and Senators argued the exams should be replaced with predictive grades once again. 

Schools are closed for the rest of the month, but Education Minister and Fianna Fáil TD Norma Foley says the written Leaving Cert will go ahead in June. 

Senator Timmy Dooley is one of the party members who argued against that approach last night - he says students need a decision now:

EXAMS: Its president, Laois' Reuban Murray, says an alternative format is needed this year.

Posted by Midlands 103 on Wednesday, 13 January 2021

 

Re-opening schools:

The reopening of special schools on a phased basis cannot mean a full return in 4 weeks' time, according to an autism advocacy group. 

As I Am is welcoming the move by the main special needs assistants union to support their reopening.

Forsa says it'll advise members to co-operate, so long as additional health and safety checks show a return to the classroom is safe.

Chief executive of As I Am, Adam Harris, says it's vital special schools and classes return as soon as possible:

A phased return to the classroom for children with special needs isn't practical, according to the group.

Mr. Harris says the onus is now on government to get the schools open again:

Worrying hospital situation:

The National Public Health Emergency Team will meet later to discuss the deteriorating Covid-19 situation in the country's hospitals.

Latest figures show there are 1,770 patients with the virus in hospitals, which includes 176 in ICU.

Yesterday saw the second highest number of deaths associated with the disease with 63 reported, while a further 3,569 infections were detected, including 162 in the midlands.

The Chief Medical Officer says there's still a "long, long way to go" in the fight against the virus.

Clinical Director at Cork University Hospital, Conor Deasy, says the hospital situation is worrying:

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