Level 5 restrictions one week on: How are we doing?

Level 5 restrictions one week on: How are we doing?

While recent figures are somewhat encouraging, Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan and other public health officials have stated that it is too early to tell if restrictions are having the desired effect. Picture: Andy Gibson

The National Public Health Emergency (Nphet) team will meet today to discuss where the country stands in relation to the latest Covid-19 trends.

Last week, Ireland moved to level 5 of the government’s ‘Living with Covid’ plan - the highest possible restriction level. 

The measures are to remain in place until early December.

At last night’s health briefing, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HSPC) confirmed an additional six deaths and 675 new cases here.

The figure of 675 new cases is the lowest one-day total recorded since October 9. 

The daily case-total has now been below 1,000 on five of the last 7 days.

The national 14-day incidence rate of Covid-19 per 100,000 people has also fallen below 300 for the first time in a week.

This is a slight fall from the national average yesterday when the 14-day incident rate was 307.6 cases per 100,000 of the population

327 people are currently in hospital with coronavirus - 40 of whom are in Intensive Care Units.

Of the cases reported yesterday: 

  • 309 cases are men and 
  • 364 are women 
  • 65% of cases are under 45 years of age 
  • The median age is 35 years old 
  • 199 cases were in Dublin, 104 were in Cork, 67 were in Meath, 50 were recorded in Limerick, 41 were reported in Kildare 
  • The remaining 214 confirmed cases are spread across another 20 counties

There are 19 new clusters in childcare facilities, an increase of 12, while there has been a further 46 in schools, the same number as the previous week.

While recent figures are somewhat encouraging, Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan and other public health officials have stated that it is too early to tell if restrictions are having the desired effect.

Speaking last night, Dr Holohan urged the public to continue to adhere to public health measures. 

He said: “Everyone must be aware of the actions they should take if they have symptoms or are awaiting a test or if they are a contact of a confirmed case.

“If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you must self isolate and phone your GP for further advice."

Contact Tracing

Meanwhile Health Service Executive (HSE) insisted the Covid-19 contact tracing system is now back on track, after it was revealed that some 2,000 people were asked to do their own contact tracing earlier this month.

At an Oireachtas Committee hearing yesterday, the HSE has apologised to them but says it was the only viable option due to the recent spike in coronavirus cases.

National Lead for Testing and Tracing, Niamh O'Beirne, said efforts are underway to strengthen the system.

Ms O'Beirne said: "Since Friday, October 23, our contact tracing system has been back on track and achieving its metrics of contacting all close contacts within 24 hours of  notification of a positive case. 

"In order to ensure that we can address future demand, the HSE is continuing to recruit additional contact tracers. 

"Over 800 people are through our interview process, 274 new staff have been taken onboard and a further 90 will join by the end of this week."

More in this section