Taoiseach announces new stronger than expected restrictions as 190 new COVID-19 cases are confirmed today

Galway Bay fm newsroom – 190 new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed today, with the figures including multiple clusters throughout the country in homes and workplaces. One death has been reported.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said this evening that Ireland’s rate of growth in new cases over the last two weeks is the 4th highest in Europe. He said in the last two months, we have gone from a low of 61 cases in one particular week to 533 cases last week. He said the 14-day cumulative cases per 100,000 of population is now 26.

Minister Donnelly warned that we are at tipping point and he said Ireland’s rate of growth over the past two weeks is the fourth highest in Europe.

Among the measures announced by the Taoiseach Micheál Martin today was that indoor events will be limited to six people, reduced from 50, except for religious services and businesses, such as shops and restaurants, which are subject to separate rules.

All visits to homes will be limited to six people from no more than three households, whether indoors and outdoors.

Gardaí and public health officials will be given new powers to enforce rules around social gatherings, particularly in restaurants or bars serving food, and in private homes. The legislation needed is being worked on.

The new restrictions come into force today, and will be in place until September 13th.

The Health Service Executive has said the median end-to-end turnaround time for testing and tracing is 2.83 days. 

This figure is for community and hospital tests combined and includes the time from referral for testing to the completion of contact tracing and is within the HSE’s own target of three days for 90% of cases. 

Figures from the HSE’s online dashboard published yesterday, gave turnaround times for different parts of the process, when added up resulted in a 3.4 day median turnaround, or a 3.8 days average turnaround. 

However, the HSE said the dashboard “does not currently present the the end-to-end turnaround time but rather three different component parts of the turnaround times, that when added together do not represent the overall end-to-end turnaround time.”

It says that as per yesterday’s data, the end-to-end turnaround time for community and acute settings is 2.83 days. 

In the week from 10 to 16 August, more than 50,000 tests have been carried out with their results returned. 

The HSE said it has seen a “significant rise” in community testing referrals in the last month, from 6,000 per week five weeks ago to 22,000 per week now. 

Additional resources have been given to the contact tracing part of the process. 

FULL STATEMENT FROM HEALTH PROTECTION SURVEILLANCE CENTRE

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been informed that 1 person with COVID-19 in Ireland has died.

There has now been a total of 1,775 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland.

As of midnight Monday 17th August, the HPSC has been notified of 190 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There is now a total of 27,499* confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland.

Of the cases notified today;                                                                                                                                                                                

  • 76 are men / 111 are women
  • 75% are under 45 years of age
  • 75 are confirmed to be associated with outbreaks or are close contacts of a confirmed case
  • 14 cases have been identified as community transmission
  • 48 in Kildare, 46 in Dublin, 38 in Tipperary, 20 in Limerick, 7 in Clare and the rest of the 31 cases are in Carlow, Cork, Kerry, Kilkenny, Laois, Louth, Meath, Offaly, Waterford, Wexford and Wicklow.

The HSE is working to identify any contacts the patients may have had to provide them with information and advice to prevent further spread.

The COVID-19 Dashboard provides up-to-date information on the key indicators of COVID-19 in the community.

Dr. Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said; “As we learn to live with this disease, we need to strike a balance between enjoying our lives and behaving responsibly. By reducing our social contacts and following the public health advice we can suppress this virus.

“To keep our shops, hotels, restaurants and sporting activities open, we need every household to play it’s part and every workplace and organisation to provide a safe environment so that we can protect our loved ones, safeguard the most vulnerable, protect our health services and ensure children get back to school in the coming weeks.”

News – Galway Bay FM