Laois records largest percentage increase in Covid cases

Lockdown restrictions were reimposed in Kildare, Offaly and Laois following an announcement by the Taoiseach.

Laois has the highest percentage increase of Covid-19 cases recorded in the past two weeks compared to Offaly and Kildare.

On Friday evening, Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced that the three counties would be placed under local lockdown restrictions for two weeks due cases of the virus rising at a concerning rate.

Outbreaks in meat factories and Direct Provision centres were among the reasons cited for the increase in cases.

While the announcement was not unexpected, following acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn’s comments on Thursday evening, saying regional lockdowns would not be ruled out, many were surprised with the inclusion of Laois.

On Friday, Offaly and Kildare recorded an additional 26 and 36 cases respectively, while Laois only had five. Similarly on Thursday, Offaly had 22 new cases, Kildare had 19 and Laois had eight.

Information from the Department of Health shows the overall cases recorded in Co Laois from July 22nd to August 5th.
Information from the Department of Health shows the overall cases recorded in Co Laois from July 22nd to August 5th.

People took to Twitter to remark how imposing a lockdown on Laois was unfair, seeing as the daily increase there had been relatively low compared to the other two counties.

However, over the two week period between July 22nd and August 5th, Laois has seen a 20.6 per cent increase in new cases, the largest increase (19) recorded on August 1st.

For the same period, Kildare noted a 9.9 per cent increase while Offaly saw a 7.4 per cent increase.

When the additional figures from Thursday and Friday are taken into account, Kildare’s percentage increase rises to 13.4, Offaly’s to 17.2, but Laois still takes the top spot with a 25.5 per cent increase since July 22nd.

Information from the Department of Health, illustrating the increase in cases in Co Kildare.
Information from the Department of Health, illustrating the increase in cases in Co Kildare.

In comparison, Dublin, which has the highest number of confirmed cases, only recorded a 1.2 per cent increase in new cases between July 22nd and August 5th, with 145 people testing positive.

During the same period, Cork had a 0.96 per cent increase, Galway had 1.4 per cent and Mayo had a 1.4 per cent rise.

Additional lockdowns in other parts of the country cannot be ruled out, as spikes in new cases have also been noted in other counties.

Wexford record its biggest daily increase of 11 during the two week period on August 4th, giving them a 6.3 per cent increase in cases, while Clare also recorded 11 additional cases on July 29th, leaving them with a 8.7 per cent rise.

Kilkenny, Carlow, Donegal, Kerry and Leitrim were among the counties to only see a marginal increase in cases in the past two weeks.