Covid-19: 'Every county should be moved to level 3'

DCU Professor Dr Anthony Staines: 'We have got to get ahead of this virus, we cannot continue chasing it around the country.'
Covid-19: 'Every county should be moved to level 3'

DCU Professor of Health Systems, Dr Anthony Staines says Louth, Waterford, Donegal and Dublin should also be moved to level four of the 'Living with Covid' plan. Picture: Dennis Minihane

All of Ireland should be moved to level three of the Government's 'Living with Covid' plan, according to a leading health expert. 

DCU Professor of Health Systems, Dr Anthony Staines, says all counties should move to the level Dublin is at now, with other counties moving up to level four of the plan.

Speaking to Newstalk this afternoon, he said: "Louth, Donegal, Waterford, and Dublin should move to level four, and the rest of the country should move to level three.

"Because we have got to get ahead of this virus, we cannot continue chasing it around the country, and then when starts rising out of control, only at that point intervening."

New data from Ireland's Covid-19 data hub has found county Louth now has a Covid-19 incidence rate of over 100 cases per 100,000 population over the last 14 days.

That is a rate second only to Dublin, which currently has a rate of 138. 

Donegal and Waterford each have an incidence rate of above 90.

The incidence rate for the entire country has risen to 70.4 per 100,000 people.

Both the Government and the HSE have said they are monitoring the incidence rates of Covid-19 in Louth, Waterford, Limerick, Kildare, Leitrim, Donegal, Offaly, and Wicklow.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said that moving those counties up a level "would not be done lightly".

He said: “Certainly, Louth, Donegal, and Waterford are giving rise for concern, and the CMO (Chief Medical Officer) has said this to us, and obviously, that will be closely monitored and it is a significant decision to move up to level three for any county. 

"So that would be carefully considered. NPHET (National Public Health Emergency Team) will advise Government in relation to those counties, and the broader situation."

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