No new cases in Westmeath for period of days

There have been no new cases of COVID-19 in Westmeath over the last five days.

There have been 682 total confirmed cases in Westmeath to date.

The most recent official county breakdown relates to midnight Monday, at which point no new cases had been reported in the previous 24 hours in Westmeath.

And in a statement tonight, the Department of Health listed counties in which new cases had emerged during Tuesday in which Westmeath was not included.

It means that the last reported case of COVID-19 in Westmeath was notified on Thursday last week.

There were however, seven new cases reported in Offaly by midnight Tuesday.

The seven Offaly cases on Tuesday were part of an overall 40 confirmed cases, of which 12 are in Dublin, 11 in Kildare, 7 in Offaly, and the rest of the cases are in Clare, Donegal, Limerick, Meath, Roscommon, Tipperary, Wicklow. The figures do not specify how many cases were notified in Roscommon on Tuesday - that will be included in the official county breakdown provided tomorrow (Thursday)

The official county breakdown as of midnight Monday stated there had been no new cases in Roscommon during the previous 24 hours, with the total number remaining at 347. In fact there has only been one new cases reported in Roscommon since July 2.

There is now a total of 26,838 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland.

Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, warned against people viewing the numbers of 40 new cases on Tuesday as low.

Whilst he accepted it was lower than some of the figures in the recent spike in cases, he pointed out that one would have to go back to early June to see numbers like 40 daily cases.

Meanwhile, there has been one new death reported to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre today - although NPHET confirmed the death did not occur in recent days.

There has now been a total of 1,774 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland.

Of the cases notified by midnight Tuesday, 19 are confirmed to be associated with outbreaks or are close contacts of a confirmed case

13 cases have been identified as community transmission.

Dr Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said:

"When NPHET tracks and analyses COVID-19’s progression in Ireland, we take into account much more than daily figures. Although today’s number is positive relative to what we saw last weekend, we remain concerned about both the number of cases that are being reported and their distribution across the country.

"The five day average for reported cases nationally is now at 75 per day. Even when we exclude Kildare, Laois and Offaly from this, it remains significantly elevated for the rest of the country at 31 per day - it is worth recalling that in late June, the five day average for cases reported was less than 10. In light of this, I ask people to continue to hold firm and continue to closely follow public health advice."

Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said:

"Due to the nature of how this virus spreads, there can be a delay between when it seeds and when we see it emerge in our communities. For this reason, we work in 14 day and five day average periods in order to ensure that we are seeing the full picture of how the disease is behaving in Ireland. While today’s figures are relatively low in the context of this particular week, it is important that we remember that this is a long game.

"We know that COVID-19 transmits when people come into close contact with one another. When we ask you to follow public health measures and adhere to public health advice, it is with the sole aim of limiting this disease’s opportunity to spread through this close contact. It’s important that everyone in Ireland knows the things they can do in their own communities to help.

"They are: limiting our contacts, avoiding crowded indoor settings, close attention to hand and respiratory hygiene, wearing a face covering where appropriate, using the COVID Tracker app and self-isolation at the first sign of symptoms. These apply countrywide, not just in the counties of Kildare, Laois and Offaly."

Dr Siobhán Ni Bhriain, Consultant Psychiatrist and HSE Integrated Care Lead, said:

"Testing is a vital component of our national response to COVID-19. It enables us to find as many cases as possible and quickly isolate them, which helps prevent further spread. We would appeal to people who are referred for testing as close contacts to attend both tests.

"It is very important that if you experience any of the symptoms of COVID-19 - such as cough, fever, shortness of breath, or loss of sense of smell/taste - that you self-isolate immediately, and phone your GP straight away. Do not wait and see. Act quickly. This will limit the chance of this highly infectious virus transmitting further."

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