ALMOST one in 14 Clare people have had Covid-19, while the Ennistymon Local Electoral Area is one of Ireland’s blackspots for the virus at the moment, being the sixth worst in the country.
Up until midnight on Sunday, 8,221 people in Clare had contracted Covid-19 at some point.
The Ennistymon Local Electoral Area was the sixth worst area of the country for prevalence of Covid in the 14 days up to October 18, the most recently available figures.
With a population of 16,408 in the Ennistymon LEA, there were 171 cases in the two week period. To put it in context, the Ennistymon LEA had a 14-day incidence rate of 1,042.2 per 100,000 of population. That is more than twice the national average figure of 493.
The Ennis Local Electoral Area was also well in excess of the national average, with a rate of 672.9 cases per 100k of population.
The other three Local Electoral Areas in the county, Killaloe, Kilrush and Shannon, all had below average case numbers, with Shannon the lowest of them all.
Visiting Ennis last week, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said that the current wave of infections is set to peak in the coming weeks, and that there are likely to be restrictions throughout the winter.
“I’ve always expressed the view that we needed to get through another winter of this before we could safely say it’s behind us.
“What we’re doing is in line with advice from NPHET, in line with what our science and medical advisers are saying to us. Of course there’s a risk involved, but I don’t think we can keep the country locked down forever either. This is living with Covid, it’s going to be difficult but I think we can manage it.”
On Tuesday 97 people were in intensive care due to Covid and Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan said the situation was concerning.
“I am increasingly worried about the rising incidence of the disease nationwide. Our primary focus now must be to protect the most vulnerable from Covid-19.
“We are seeing a continuing increase in hospitalisation and intensive care admissions – a substantial amount of whom are not fully vaccinated – placing our frontline healthcare services, including non-COVID care, under significant pressure.
“It is essential that we do everything we can to break the chains of transmission of the Delta variant, in the community, in the workplace and in our homes. If you experience symptoms of COVID-19, even if you are vaccinated, please stay at home, isolate from others and arrange a free test immediately.
“If you have not done so already, please choose to protect yourself by availing of your free COVID-19 vaccine which will significantly reduce your risk of severe illness if you contract the disease.”
“The vaccine, our best defence against COVID-19, is not the only tool we have to drive down the spread of the disease.
“Please continue to regularly wash your hands, cover your coughs and sneezes, open windows and ensure spaces are well ventilated, wear masks on public transport, shops, indoor workplaces and crowded outdoor areas, and by keeping a safe 2m distance from others as much as possible.”