Listowel in Kerry has the highest Covid-19 infection rate in Munster followed by Cork city, according to new data showing where the virus is spreading.
The data published by the Health Protection and Surveillance Centre shows where Covid-19 hotspots are emerging in 166 local electoral areas (LEA) across the country in the previous 14 days.
As of October 26, LEAs in Cavan, Meath and Galway had 14-day infection rates that were multiples of the national average of 307.6 cases per 100,000 population, the latest figures show.
Ballyjamesduff in Cavan had the highest infection rate nationally at 1,484.4 cases per 100,000 population – almost five times the national infection rate. The local area has a population of almost 26,000 and 383 new cases were confirmed in the previous fortnight.
Infection rates were also three to four times the national average in Rathoath in Meath (1,365.6 cases per 100,000 population) and in Galway city central (1,018.7 cases per 100,000 population).
In Munster, the Listowel LEA in Kerry had the highest infection rate in the province at 634.7 cases 100,000 population. In the previous two weeks, 182 new Covid-19 cases were confirmed in the area, which has a population of more than 28,000.
Infection rates also remain high in all five Cork city electoral areas, with above-average rates.
The infection rate in the Cork South Central area is double the national average (625.9 cases per 100,000 population) and is above 400 cases per 100,000 population in Cork City North West, North West, South East and South West electoral areas.
The figures show a dramatic change since the end of September, when the national 14-day infection rate stood at 177 cases per 100,000 population and some LEAs were almost Covid-free, with less than five cases reported in the previous fortnight.
The virus has now spread through all 166 LEAs, although there are some signs that infection rates may be starting to slow nationally but the impacts of the Level 5 lockdown may not be evident yet.
To date 1,902 people have died from Covid-19 and more than 60,000 people have contracted the virus. Over 100 Covid-19 deaths and 24,000 new cases were confirmed in the past month alone.
While there were some “positive trends”, chief executive of the HSE, Paul Reid, said the service was watching out for a “multi-lag effect” involving viral spread from younger people to those over 65 years of age, which could result in increased hospital admissions and deaths.