Offaly's incidence rate of Covid-19 is on the rise again
Offaly's 14-day incidence rate for Covid-19 has crept above 60 per 100,000 of population for the first time since the county emerged from lockdown for a second time in August.
The figures are revealed in the latest Epidemiology of COVID-19 in Ireland report from the HSE Health Protection Surveillance Centre. The report, prepared on Tuesday and based on the first two weeks of September, shows that Offaly had 48 new cases of Covid-19 confirmed in that period.
That gives the county a 14-day incidence rate of 61.6 per 100,000 of population. However, this is still considerably lower than the rate recorded in Offaly when it was placed into a regional lockdown with Laois and Kildare in early August. In the first two weeks of August, 105 cases of coronavirus were confirmed in Offaly, giving the county a 14-day incidence rate at that time of 134.7.
In a month, Offaly has more than halved its incidence rate but the number has begun creeping up again in recent weeks with five cases confirmed in the county on Tuesday evening. Offaly's incidence rate of the virus is now the fifth-highest in the country.
Dublin is now the only county with a 14-day incidence rate above 100 per 100,000 of population, almost double that of every other county. The capital had 1,401 cases of the disease confirmed in the first two weeks of September, more than ten times higher than the next worst-hit county, Kildare, with 123 cases. Dublin's 14-incidence rate now stands at 104 and continues to climb dramatically with 218 cases confirmed in the county in one day on Tuesday.
The figures prompted the government into a number of slightly more restrictive measures on Dublin as part of its 'Living with Covid-19' plan. The plan provides guidance on five levels of Covid-19 restrictions with Level 1 being the most lenient and Level 5 being almost a complete lockdown. Ireland as a whole has been placed at Level 2, including Dublin, although their restrictions have been slightly modified. People in Dublin are being advised not to leave their region and to restrict social interactions and the numbers of people visiting their home.
Offaly's neighbouring counties have also seen a slight rise in the incidence rate of the virus. Westmeath's rate for the first two weeks of September was 46.2 with 41 confirmed cases; Laois had 37 cases confirmed with its rate now at 43.7; Kildare's rate is now 55.3 with 123 cases; Tipperary's rate stands at 18.8 with just 30 cases in the last two weeks.
You can read more about the government's new 'Living with Covid-19' plan and set of restrictions HERE.