Covid-19: More than half cases occur in private homes in the last month

Some 54% of Covid-19 cases have occurred in private houses in the last month, the CSO has found.
Covid-19: More than half cases occur in private homes in the last month

A sign outside Kingspan Breffni Park GAA ground in Co Cavan. Cases in over 80s now account for just 2% of Covid-19 cases, the CSO data found.
Picture: Brian Lawless

Private houses account for 54% of Covid-19 cases in the last four weeks, with people living in disadvantaged areas disproportionality impacted by the pandemic, according to official data.

Cork, Dublin, and Galway continue to be hotspots for outbreaks, the latest Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures on the impact of Covid-19 found.

The three counties made up 46% of all cases linked to an outbreak for the week ending October 16, it said.

Weekly testing from HSE labs and hospitals show Covid-19 hit its highest level of just over 100,000 tests in the week ending October 16, with a positivity rate of 7%, up from 4.5% the previous week.

Women and people between 25 and 44 continue to account for the highest number of confirmed cases.

Since July, cases in those over 80 have plummeted, according to the statisticians. They now account for 2% of cases, compared to 20% in March.

Dublin made up just over a quarter of all new cases — more than 1,500 — for the week ending October 16, the fifth week in a row that the capital had more than 1,000 weekly cases.

Cases among health care workers have also plunged since the height of the pandemic earlier this year. They now make up 3% of cases compared to a peak of 36% in April. 

The average number of contacts per positive case per week was four in the week ending October 9, the CSO said.

Of cases last week, 129 people were hospitalised, the third week in a row that the number of people hospitalised has been greater than 100, the CSO said.

For the sixth week in a row, there have been more than five people admitted to an ICU.

The overall hospitalisation rate is 95 people per 1,000 confirmed cases. This number was highest in March at 192 per 1,000 confirmed cases and was 44 in September. 

The overall ICU admission rate doubled since last month. 

It is 10 per 1,000 confirmed cases in October, up from four people per 1,000 cases in August and five per 1,000 in September.

An analysis using social community inclusion group Pobal's deprivation index from 2016 shows a wide discrepancy between positive cases in more affluent areas and those in lower socio-economic communities.

People living in areas defined as very disadvantaged and disadvantaged have accounted for 41% of all cases since the pandemic began despite making up 37% of the population, the CSO said.

Those living in areas defined as affluent or very affluent have accounted for 35% of all cases since the pandemic began despite making up 40% of the population.

"The trends have been changing over the months of the pandemic where as a proportion of confirmed cases those in affluent areas were most impacted in March, June, and July and those in disadvantaged areas were worst hit in August and September. 

"In recent weeks, cases have begun to increase again among those living in affluent areas," the CSO said.

Dublin continues to be the worst hit when it comes to deaths, according to the statistics body.

The number of people who have died from Covid-19 has been greater than 10 for each of the last six weeks. 

The total number of people who have died is 1,618, with a further 223 deaths cited as probable deaths linked to the virus. 

Some 56 more men than women died as of October 16. 

Just under two-thirds of all confirmed Covid-19 deaths to date were over 80. 

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