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Covid case surge could be levelling out


POSITIVE SIGNS A social-distancing sign near the entrance to a cemetery in Ballindine.

Anton McNulty

The latest data for the number of new cases of Covid-19 in Mayo shows that the number of new cases may be beginning to level out in the county.
The latest figures released by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) show that while the number of cases over a 14-day period has increased, there was a reduction in cases in the last seven days of that period.
In a 14-day period up to midnight on November 18, 1,436 new cases were recorded in the county – a rise compared to the same time period recorded the previous week. The 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 population has risen to 1,100.3, which is still below the national average of 1,187.8, if marginally.

ICU maxed out
However, when the number of cases in the last seven days is taken into account, the picture is a little brighter. The seven-day period up to midnight on November 18 saw 678 new cases – a reduction on the previous week’s seven-day figure of 736. The seven-day incidence rate per 100,000 population has also fallen from 564 on November 11 to 496.5 on November 18.
There was further good news for the health authorities in Mayo, with the latest HSE update on acute hospitals showing that the number of Covid-19 cases in Mayo University Hospital (MUH) has also decreased.
As of 8pm on Sunday, November 21, the Castlebar hospital had 13 confirmed Covid-19, down four on the number of cases the previous Sunday.
MUH had no new confirmed cases in the previous 24 hours, and no suspected new cases.
Two of the hospital’s 13 confirmed cases are in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), but there were no more ICU beds available.
The Mater Hospital in Dublin has the highest number of cases with 74, while Galway University Hospital has the highest number of the Connacht hospitals, with 23. There were nine Covid patients in Portiuncula in Ballinasloe and seven in Sligo University Hospital.
The latest Central Statistic Office series of figures on Covid-19 deaths and cases reveal that there was one further Covid-19 death in Mayo since the end of October. The new series from October 29 to November 12 shows that 201 Covid-19 deaths have now been confirmed in the county since the pandemic began. It also revealed that the total number of cases since the start of the pandemic has risen to 12,793, and that the median age of people to die is 84, while the median age of those who contract the virus is 35.

Belmullet rate remains low
Meanwhile, the Belmullet Electoral Area continues to have the lowest rate of cases per electoral area in the country despite an increase in cases.
In a 14-day period up to November 15, 40 cases were confirmed there, which took its 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 population to 317.5. The national average for that period in time was 1,160.7.
While the Belmullet Eletoral Area has the lowest number of cases, the remaining electoral areas all recorded in excess of 200 cases in 14 days.
The highest number of new cases was in the Castlebar Electoral Area with 333 cases followed by the Westport Electoral Area with 316. The Westport Electoral Area has the highest incidence rate in the county with 1,719.4 while the corresponding figure for Castlebar was 1,110.3.
The Claremorris Electoral Area recorded 296 cases and has an incidence rate of 1,090.6, while 261 cases were recorded in the Ballina Electoral Area, which took its incidence rate to 1039.4. There were 201 cases recorded in the Swinford Electoral Area and its incidence rate is 1,162.8.