Covid: Return to masking likely needed in autumn, says consultant

Covid: Return To Masking Likely Needed In Autumn, Says Consultant
Despite it currently being the middle of summer, infection rates remain high. Photo: PA Images
Share this article

A return to mask-wearing will likely be needed this autumn to lower Ireland’s Covid-19 infection rates, according to a hospital consultant.

Despite it currently being the middle of summer, infection rates remain high as the country experiences yet another wave driven by Omicron subvariants.


Consultant Bill Tormey said reintroducing mask-wearing could help tackle a further surge in the coming months.

“Respiratory viruses should be met with an increase in masking, because the only thing that actually helps in these circumstances is masking in the population,” he told Newstalk radio.

“[That’s] assuming that we aren’t going to go into any mad lockdown again, because I think that would be a very, very bad idea socially and from the point of view of the country in general.

“But I think masking is something that we can anticipate will probably be needed in the autumn.”


The number of people in hospitals with the virus is continuing to increase after crossing the 1,000-patient mark once again this week.

The latest figures show 1,035 people in hospital with the virus, with 46 in intensive care units.

That goes to show you that there’s a lot of Covid in the community

The positivity rate of PCR tests, only available to those considered vulnerable, now stands at 38.1 per cent, while there were 37 deaths linked to Covid recorded in Ireland in the latest weekly update.


The World Health Organisation has called for countries to reverse cuts to testing and tracing, warning the pandemic is nowhere near over.

Dr Tormey said the exact picture in Ireland is being impacted by a lack of testing.

“We’re only doing a certain number of PCRs and the number of positive PCRs on people who might have Covid has soared up to about 36 per cent or more, and that goes to show you that there’s a lot of Covid in the community," he said.

“There are not that many in ICU at the same time, there’s only 46 the last time I looked for people in ICU, despite 1,000 people infected, and of those infected, 75 per cent of them are older than 65 years of age.”

Read More

Message submitting... Thank you for waiting.

Want us to email you top stories each lunch time?

Download our Apps
© 2024, developed by Square1 and powered by