A total of 75% of cases this week were in people aged under 45.
HOW DOES THIS week’s Covid-19 Data compare to last week’s?
A total of 2,180 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed across Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday – compared to 2,000 new cases reported over the same period last week and 1,970 the previous week – an increase of 8.5% since last week.
Ireland’s national incidence rate is 159.5 cases per 100,000 of the population on a 14-day rolling average, according to data from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre – compared to 150.8 on this day last week and 162.1 the week previous.
Looking at 14-day incidence rates in individual counties, Offaly has the highest incidence of Covid-19 in Ireland at 450.2 cases per 100,000.
Donegal is the second-highest county in Ireland with a 14-day incidence rate of 260.7.
Kildare is third-highest with a 14-day incidence rate of 243.1.
Looking at Local Electoral Area data, Tullamore, Co Offaly remains the area with the highest individual incidence of Covid-19 at 754.5 cases per 100,000.
For a breakdown of Covid-19 incidence rates in LEAs around Ireland, see here.
Counties with the current lowest incidence rates include Kilkenny (40.3), Cork (42.6) and Kerry (46).
A total of 75% of cases this week were in people aged under 45, indicating a well-flagged rise in incidence among younger cohorts as vaccination takes effect in older people.
In the week ending 29 January, 18% of positive cases in that week were among people aged 65+.
In the week ending 19 March, the proportion of cases attributable to the over-65s had fallen to 9%.
A similar fall can be seen in the incidence of Covid-19 among healthcare workers from 1,253 cases in the week ending 29 January, to just 88 cases in the week ending 19 March 2021.
Clusters & Outbreaks
Data from The Health Protection Surveillance Centre shows there were 19 new outbreaks linked to workplaces between 13 and 20 March – an increase of 5.
An outbreak is defined by the HSE as either two or more confirmed cases of Covid-19 in a particular setting. Or two or more cases of illness with symptoms consistent with Covid-19 where at least one person is a confirmed case.
The total number of outbreaks since the start of the pandemic is 13,818. Of these, 2,756 remain “open” according to the HPSC’s recent data.
For an outbreak to be considered “closed”, there must be 28 days from the last case diagnosed or an infected person becoming symptomatic.
Hospital & ICU
There were 25 hospital admissions in the last 24 hours and 35 discharges.
There were – as of Friday morning – 317 confirmed Covid-19 cases in hospital and 67 people in Intensive Care Units.
Last Friday, there were 336 people hospitalised with Covid-19.
Testing & Tracing
Testing had ramped up to almost 25,000 per day in early January. On 7 January, approximately 174,000 tests had been carried out in the previous seven days. The positivity rate was 22.7%.
Approximately 167,000 tests were carried out between then and 14 January. The positivity rate reduced further to 17.9%.
Approximately 110,000 tests have been carried out over the past 7 days – An increase of 16,000 compared to the previous seven days.
The Positivity Rate remains at 3.8%.
This indicates well-reported static level of infection but an increase in testing due to a rise in GP referrals.
The HSE announced this week that Retrospective Contact Tracing will be rolled out having first been mooted in December.
The aim of the programme is to pinpoint Covid-19 cases currently classified as ‘Community Transmission’ in order to track and interrupt transmission of Covid-19.
Finally, as of Tuesday, 709,348 vaccines had been administered in Ireland – 515,800 were first doses with 193,548 people fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
A total of 855,360 doses had been delivered to Ireland by Friday 19 March.
A further 244,000 doses should be delivered by 31 March if Ireland is to meet its target of 1.1 million for Q1.
HSE CEO Paul Reid confirmed on Thursday that he expects AstraZeneca to deliver more than 100,000 doses next week – in addition to Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.
Ireland receives 1.1% of all vaccines allocated to EU member states. The Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson doses due for EU distribution in Q2 translates into just over 2.9 million doses for Ireland in April, May and June.
If all deliveries go to plan and all doses are administered it will result in over 550,000 people in Ireland vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine, 192,500 with Moderna and 2 million million people with Pfizer/BioNTech.
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A spokesperson for the HSE said it could not provide an exact estimate for how many vaccines Ireland will receive in April, May and June.
“Delivery schedules and quantities have changed on a considerable number of occasions in recent weeks,” she said.
“This is beyond our control and we therefore cannot provide a detailed delivery schedule.”
An EU Commission spokesperson said: “The Commission does not provide information on vaccine deliveries to specific member states.
“Member states authorities and vaccine providers agree themselves the details of deliveries to a specific member state.”
HSE CEO Paul Reid said on Thursday that the HSE expects to receive 1 million doses between today and 30 April – and one million doses in both May and June.
However, Reid said Johnson & Johnson had yet to commit to a delivery date but that he expects deliveries to start from mid-April to late-April.
Between 95,000 and 105,000 doses are expected to be delivered here next week, he said. These will be administered to over 70s, residents of Long-Term Residential Care Facilities and high-risk groups.
With a decision on easing Level 5 restrictions on Tuesday – and a rising incidence of Covid-19 – Ireland’s vaccine supply over the coming weeks will be closely watched.