ANOTHER surge in Covid-19 has resulted in Clare recording the dubious distinction of having the second highest 14-day incidence of confirmed PCR cases in the country.
Figures obtained by the Clare Champion reveal the 14-day incidence rate has soared to 348.4 per 100,000 after 414 cases were detected over the last two weeks including 86 cases on Tuesday.
Limerick has the highest incidence in the country with 427.9% in the last 14 days after recording 834 cases during this period.
The Department of Public Health Mid-West has been notified of more than 3,200 new Covid-19 cases in Limerick, Clare, and Tipperary in the past 14 days.
According to provisional data, as of June 19, the department has been notified of 1,676 new cases in Limerick, 714 in Clare, and 854 in Tipperary over the past 14 days.
Dr Mai Mannix, Area Director of Public Health Mid-West, said this increase in cases in the Mid-West is of concern, as Covid-19 remains a major risk to the elderly and those with weak immune systems.
“The BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron variants are likely contributing factors, as early evidence suggests they are more transmissible and have the ability to evade immunity.
“Due to high levels of immunity, we may not see the same level of severe illness and death that we saw in the earlier waves in 2020 and 2021.
“However, widespread infection in the community means there will be more people with Covid-19 in healthcare settings, placing more pressure on frontline workers to prevent further spread and outbreaks.”
Responding to Clare Champion queries, The Department of Public Health confirmed it is seeing a noticeable increase in Covid-19 cases in the Mid-West, and the latest data suggests that it is widely circulating in the community in all pockets of society. It expects a significant spread in the community due to pre-pandemic levels of social activity.
At present, in line with national prioritisation policy, Public Health is managing and monitoring Covid-19 in nursing homes and long-term residential care facilities in the Mid-West.
In recent weeks, it has recorded and managed a small number of outbreaks in these settings.
The HSE is encouraging people to avail of the Covid-19 vaccine, including those who are eligible for their second booster dose, following a large increase in cases in recent weeks in Limerick, Clare, and Tipperary.
The second booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccine is available to everyone aged 65 and older, and everyone aged 12 and older who have weak immune systems.
It is highly recommended that anyone who is eligible for this booster avails of it.
A person can get their second booster at least four months after your first booster. If you have had Covid-19 since your first booster, wait at least four months after you tested positive or from when your symptoms started.
Patients can book a vaccine appointment on a day and time that suits, go to a walk-in booster clinic for your age group, call HSELive for an appointment on 1800 700 700 or book an appointment with a participating pharmacy or GP.
The second booster dose is effective in preventing serious illness. The HSE encourage everyone to be cognisant of the most vulnerable members of the population. Wearing a mask, ventilating shared spaces where possible, and washing hands can help protect people and each other against Covid-19.