Outbreaks continue as Covid infection rates decline but vary across country

Galway city centre's 14-day incidence rate of Covid-19 is nearly four times the national average.
Outbreaks continue as Covid infection rates decline but vary across country

Infection rates can vary a great deal between counties and urban and rural areas. Picture: Larry Cummins.

Declining Covid rates across the country can vary with rural and urban areas showing distinct differences in average infections. 

Galway city centre's 14-day incidence rate of Covid-19 is nearly four times the national average.

The local electoral area's rate was 768 per 100,000 people on Monday - the highest in the country, but down 40% on last week.

Padraic Toomey, the president of NUI Galway students union, has said many of his area's cases are linked to college students.

Speaking to Newstalk, Mr Toomey said cases linked to the return of students to the city after the winter break have led to further Covid outbreaks. 

"We know that there was a lot of cases from the fact students came back about three weeks. 

"And when they all arrived back there would have been a lot of Covid mixing, because NUIG has the most amount of students not from its catchment area. 

"So you've got people from all over the country coming here into one place, and [..] if you have got Covid, you can give that to your four or five housemates, 

"And that could be a lot of cases there that could multiply across a lot of houses," said Mr Toomey. 

Cork has the lowerst rate of Covid infection in the in the country. Picture: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Cork has the lowerst rate of Covid infection in the in the country. Picture: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

The Limerick City East local election area is the next highest, at 608 per 100,000.

Mid-West Public Health have confirmed over 300 cases of the coronavirus have been linked to an outbreak among student residents in the Castletroy area of the city. 

A street party in College Court, Castletroy that resulted in five arrests and more than 50 fines drew national attention to student compliance with public health regulations.  

University of Limerick (UL) has said students who attended the public gathering face suspension or expulsion. 

Rural areas with low infection rates are prone to 14-day incidence rates rising quickly after outbreaks cause spikes in confirmed cases. 

East Clare is the only local election area in the country to see its Covid infection rate rise this week. The Killaloe electoral area confirmed 36 cases in the past two weeks. 

The East Clare infection rate at 179.0 per 100,00 people now, is just below the national average having previously been one of the lowest rates in the country. 

North Clare has one of the lowest infection rates after six cases were confirmed in the past two weeks.  West Clare's prevalence continues its infection rate decline. 

Clare's overall incidence rate of 146.4 per 100,00 and is one of the lowest in the country. 

Infection rates across Tipperary have remained consistent with Clonmel the lowest area with an incidence rate of 150 ases per 100,000 while Carrick-on-Suir is the highest after recording 262 cases per 100,000. 

Cork now has the lowest 14-day incidence rate in the country with 60.6 cases per 100,00 of the population. 

The national 14-day incidence rate of the virus is now 190.2 per 100,000 population.

Meanwhile, hospitalisations continue to fall with 43 people discharged from hospital and 34 patients admitted in the last 24 hours, leaving the total number of hospitalised Covid patients at 426. 

Intensive care units are treating 102 patients after five people were admitted in the past 24 hours and six people were discharged. 

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