Covid-19 hotspots across the country have been spotted amid a record number of patients with the virus being hospitalized each day.
Trandhill and Drumcliff in Sligo have the recent highest incidence rate of the virus in the country.
New data shows that the local constituency of Strandhill had an incidence rate of 2,600 confirmed PCR cases per 100,000. This was followed by Drumcliff.
The next highest was seen at Letterkenny, Co Donegal, followed by Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim, Naas in Co Kildare and Wicklow.
Also in the top 10 were Mullingar, Carlow, Ballymote-Tobercurry in Co Sligo and Boyle in Co Roscommon.
They all had the highest incidence rates of positive PCR tests per 100,000 as of March 14. Individuals who found themselves positive after a home antigen test were not included.
The lowest incidences were in Buncrana in Donegal, Newcastlewest in Limerick, Carndonagh in Donegal, Lismore in Waterford, Listowel in Kerry and Kanturk in Cork.
Data from the Health Protection Surveillance Center (HPSC) comes as the number of new Covid-19 admissions to hospitals rose to 225 yesterday, the highest in a single day since the pandemic began.
The number rose to 1,395 patients with Covid-19 being treated in hospitals, up 56 on Tuesday.
Of these, 55 are in intensive care, six fewer than the day before.
A further 21,098 new cases of Covid-19, including PCR and home antigen tests, were reported yesterday.
dr HSE chief clinical officer Colm Henry said the trend remains a serious problem, particularly for the unvaccinated and people who are vulnerable due to age or a very weak immune system.
He said due to vaccination and immunity from infection, there are fewer serious illnesses compared to the high number of cases, but the number of patients with the virus is causing “serious disruption to our healthcare system.”
Patients in hospitals with Covid-19 must be isolated and infection control measures mean certain wards have to be cordoned off, disrupting the flow of healthcare.
Over 4,500 health workers are ill due to Covid – but that doesn’t tell ‘the whole story’ as entire teams are missing in some cases.
Around half of the patients in the hospital with Covid-19 are directly ill with the virus. The rest were admitted for another illness but found positive after a test.
Among the sickest are people who are unvaccinated and some who have not received a booster shot.
dr Henry urged people to wear masks on public transport and in shops and other indoor places where they might be at risk. People with symptoms are being asked to self-isolate and undergo an antigen test over several days.
Several hospitals have had to reintroduce visitor restrictions, including Wexford General.
University Hospital Limerick said it had to cancel wait-listed surgeries due to continued demand in its emergency department.
As of Monday, 86 Covid-19 patients were hospitalized and many staff were absent because of the virus.
Meanwhile, there were 16 outbreaks of Covid-19 in hospitals last week, some infecting as many as 25 patients and staff.
There have been 34 outbreaks in care homes, affecting as many as 30 in some facilities.
Yesterday, 654 patients were also waiting on trolleys for a bed.
Some people who contracted the BA.1 form of Omicron earlier this year are now being reinfected with the variant’s BA.2 offshoot, which is now the dominant strain.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/health/countrywide-hotspots-for-virus-emerge-amid-rise-in-hospital-cases-41481035.html Virus hotspots are emerging nationwide as hospital cases surge