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Rate of COVID-19 infection in Donegal and Dublin is of serious concern

DUBLIN: While Ireland’s level 5 restrictions are being eased, the rate of COVID-19 infection in Donegal and Dublin counties is causing serious concern. The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) says Donegal has the worst COVID-19 rate in the country right now.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tony Holohan said the virus infection rate in Co Donegal is highly concerning. Donegal has the highest 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 population (293.4).

The other five counties with the highest incidence rate are Kildare – 238.6, Westmeath – 190.4, Dublin – 184.4, Offaly – 171.9 and Longford – 168.8.

“There have been clear examples of non-compliance. There’s a concerning level of compliance compared to the rest of the country. A number of the kind of activities have happened that – let’s just be honest, the dogs in the streets, including those in Donegal all know- shouldn’t be happening or happened,” said Dr. Holohan.

Deputy CMO Dr. Ronan Glynn said that Donegal’s incidence rate is far above the national average. “Donegal’s incidence is close to 300 per 100,000, and the national incidence at the moment is 127 per 100,000. The community positivity rate in Donegal is running at about 12% compared to 7% across the rest of the country. The incidence rate in Donegal has pretty much gone above or exceeded the national average since last September,” Dr. Glynn said.

“Barring a few weeks in February, it’s more or less been above the national average over that entire period since then. At the moment, it doesn’t appear that workplaces are a key driver of what’s happening.

“We’re seeing birthday parties, peer parties, secondary school children meeting up socially outside of school environments, social events linked to funerals and wakes. As I said before, if there’s one big workplace outbreak, in some ways, it makes it easier to control,” said deputy CMO.

Further 545 COVID-19 cases were confirmed in Ireland yesterday. The total number of confirmed cases now stands at 248,870. The NPHET also confirmed that four additional deaths have been recorded in the country, bringing the death toll from COVID-19 to 4,903.

Of the cases confirmed yesterday, 264 were in Dublin, 58 in Kildare, 50 in Cork, 29 in Donegal, 28 in Galway and the remaining 116 in 21 across the country.

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