Latest national news updates on Thursday 9th July.
There's been two new confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Westmeath.
It brings the total to 676 in the county and ends two days of no new patients in the midlands.
The total in Offaly stays at 486 and Laois remains at 265.
The cumulative number in the region is now 1,427.
The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been informed that a total of 6 people with COVID-19 have died.
There has now been a total of 1,743* COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland.
As of midnight Wednesday 8th July, the HPSC has been notified of 23 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There is now a total of 25,565 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland.
The HSE is working to identify any contacts the patients may have had to provide them with information and advice to prevent further spread.
The National Public Health Emergency Team met today (Thursday 9 July) to review Ireland’s ongoing response and preparedness to COVID-19.
Dr. Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said; “Today, NPHET has recommended that all visitors to healthcare settings including hospitals, GP practices and pharmacies, should wear face coverings.
“15 of today’s confirmed cases are directly or indirectly related to travel. NPHET today reiterates that all non-essential travel overseas should be avoided.
“In addition, 77% of cases reported today are under 25 years of age. COVID-19 is extremely infectious and none of us are immune. It is important that we all continue to follow public health advice and risk assess our actions.”
Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said; “We are seeing an increase in the number of reported cases over the last 2 weeks and the R-number is now at or above 1. There is an immediate need for all of us to take care and caution in our decisions and actions.”
The COVID-19 Dashboard provides up-to-date information on the key indicators of COVID-19 in the community.
Rent and evictions:
The government's considering extending the rent freeze and temporary ban on evictions.
The emergency measures were brought in during the coronavirus pandemic, but are due to expire on July 20th.
Housing Minister Darragh O'Brien told the Dáil last night it will be extended if needed.
Labour TD Aodhán Ó Riordáin says the measures should continue for several more months:
More than three million people in the US have now tested positive for Covid-19.
Over 131,000 deaths have been reported, and on Tuesday America broke its record for the most new cases in one day.
Despite the rise, the White House wants to press on with some reopenings, including schools.
Covid-19 information booklets:
Nearly half a million euro was spent on Covid-19 information booklets, according to freedom of information files.
The Department of Health sent copies to every home in the country recently - two million in English and two million in Irish.
An Post delivered the English version for free, but postage for the Irish edition cost nearly €100,000.
Galway West TD Eamon Ó Cuiv's criticising the Department of Health:
The country's top health officials will consider whether pubs should be allowed to fully reopen at a meeting this morning.
The National Public Health Emergency Team will also discuss a 'green list' of countries for foreign travel.
They'll also speak about the Covid Tracker App, which 1 million people have now downloaded.
Pubs are scheduled to reopen fully on July 20th, but DCU health professor Anthony Staines is opposed to that:
The government's due to publish a list of countries that are safe to travel to on July 20th.
But Dr Mary Favier, president of the Irish College of GPs, says that should be delayed:
For the second day in succession, there have been no new confirmed cases of covid-19 in the midlands.
That leaves the total in the region at 1,425.
674 in Westmeath, 486 in Offaly and 265 in Laois.