An urgent appeal is being made to people in Clare to follow public health guidelines, following a number of outbreaks of Covid-19 in this county.
72 new cases of the coronavirus were confirmed in this county over the past two weeks, and Clare FM understands that health officials expect this number will grow further over the coming days.
The 72 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Clare over the past fortnight gives this county an incidence rate of 60.6 cases per 100,000 people.
Eleven counties have registered higher rates, but in Clare there is concern that the number of cases here will grow over the coming days, due to the number of outbreaks here.
Last night saw 15 further cases of the virus confirmed.
The HSE says the cases are linked to a number of outbreaks among extended families, as well as outbreaks associated with parties, pubs and restaurants and a sporting event.
The situation has prompted Clare County Council and An Garda Siochana have come together to issue a joint appeal to the public to play their part in reducing the spread of the virus.
CEO of the local authority, Pat Dowling says it’s clear the figures are going in the wrong direction.
The Head of the Clare Garda Division says small gatherings are posing a major threat.
Under level two restrictions, only six people from up to three households are allowed to gather in a home, with outdoor gatherings are limited to 15 people, while only six people from three households should gather together in pubs or restaurants.
Chief Superintendent Sean Colleran says legislation is in place that allows them deal with anyone flouting the rules, but he insists that enforcement will be a last resort.
The surge in cases has led to all communions and confirmations in the county being called off.
The Bishop of Killaloe has asked all parishes to postpone the religious events following strong advice from the HSE that the ceremonies should not go ahead.
Bishop Fintan Monahan says it’s been made clear to them that the problem is not with the actual ceremonies, but with the gatherings and parties that arise afterwards.
He says the HSE has raised concern about outbreaks of the virus in the Ennis are in particular, and that while he understands frustrations, he felt there was no other option.
Separate figures today show one additional COVID-19 patient was admitted to University Hospital Limerick yesterday.
There are now six patients with the virus in the hospital and three patients in intensive care.