Cork may have escaped seeing Level 3 restrictions introduced yesterday, but new figures show that the 14-day incidence of Covid-19 has soared in many parts of Cork.
The data shows that in three parts of Cork, the 14-day incidence of Covid-19 is now more than 100 per 100,000 people.
The figures, available from the Covid-19 Data Hub, show case information at a Local Electoral Area (LEA) level across Ireland between September 15 and September 28.
According to the latest data, the Cork City South West, Cork City North East and Cork City South Central LEAs now have the highest 14-day incidence rate of Covid-19 per 100,000 people.
It shows 69 confirmed cases of Covid-19 have been identified in Cork South West LEA in the past 14 days, with a rate of 146.7 per 100,000 people, significantly higher than the national rate of 88.2 per 100,000 people.
Last week the 14-day incidence in the same area was 59.5 per 100,000 people.
Fifty cases were reported in the Cork North East LEA in the past 14 days with a rate of 118.6 per 100,000 people. Between September 8 - 21 there were 24 cases reported in this area.
Cork City South Central had 43 confirmed cases within the time period and has a rate of 111.2 per 100,00 people, whereas between September 8 -21, 16 cases had been reported here with an incidence of 41.4.
Thirty cases were reported in the Cobh electoral area in the 14 day period which has an incidence rate of 87.9 per 100,000 people- more than double the rate reported last week.
A total of 34 cases were reported in the Cork South-East ward while the 14-day incidence rate there was 79.5 per 100,000 people.
There were 26 cases in the Fermoy LEA within the two-week window, with a rate of 71.4 per 100k, compared to a rate of 49.4 last week.
Last week, four LEAs in Cork had reported less than five cases in the previous 14 days namely Skibbereen-West Cork, Bantry-West Cork, Carrigaline and Kanturk LEAs.
However, this week just two areas reported less than five cases namely Bantry-west Cork and Kanturk.
There were 22 cases reported in the Carrigaline LEA in the two-week period giving it an incidence rate of 62.6 per 100,000 people.
Six cases were reported in Skibbereen-West Cork with a rate of 19.8 per 100,000 people.
A total of 27 case were reported in the Midleton LEA in the 14-day period with a rate of 59.4, Mallow had 16 cases and a rate of 54.9, Macroom had 19 cases and a rate of 51.6 per 100,000 people while the Bandon-Kinsale LEA had 10 cases and a rate of 26.8 per 100,000 compared to nine cases in the 14 day period from 8 - 21 September.
Last night, Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ronan Glynn appealed for people to cut down on their number of social contacts after it was revealed that 57 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Cork have been linked to a cáfe-restaurant where a number of people from different households socialised.
"What we’re concerned about is that increasingly, we’re seeing increases in cases of clusters in a whole range of different counties and so it becomes harder and harder to turn that tide," he said in an interview with RTÉ.
"We’re really asking people over the coming days to once again pay heed to the advice – I know people are tired of it, but equally I know the vast majority of people are doing their best, are trying to listen to it and adhere to it and in particular what we’re trying to do is cut down contacts, cut down the size of clusters, so that if there are cases, if there are clusters they’re smaller in size.
The Acting CMO added: "We’ve one cluster, for example, tonight in Cork from a café/restaurant where a number of people from different households socialised – at the moment that cluster is at 57 cases," he continued.
"We have to cut down the size of these clusters."
"We have to cut down socialisation if we’re going to get on top of this disease," Dr Glynn stressed.
Yesterday the National Public Health Emergency Team advised that Government extend the Level two measures currently in place for a further period of three weeks, with Donegal and Dublin remaining at Level 3.
It has recommended that no more than two households should meet at any given time.
People should only have a maximum of six visitors from one other household to their home.
People can continue to meet socially in other settings, but only with people from one other household.
Here in Cork, the HSE, Cork City Council, Cork County Council and an Garda Síochána have renewed their appeal to the people of Cork to work to reverse the upward trend in cases as quickly as possible.
The acting director of Public Health HSE South (Cork and Kerry) Dr Anne Sheahan said: “Cork has come from a low number of cases, and although the recent rise is worrying we still have time to get it back under control – if we all act right now.
"The people of Cork have done great work over the last few months, and it’s that work which is giving us a small window of opportunity to turn things around,” she said.
Chief Superintendent for the Cork City Garda Division, Barry McPolin said: "We need everyone to double down on the tremendous efforts they have made here in Cork. We need everyone to limit the contact they have with each other. Whilst you may feel safe at home and think it’s ok to have friends over or have a party, you are putting your health, their health and everyone you come into contact with afterwards at risk. It is vital that you continue to play your part by limiting contact with others - this will save lives."
Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Joe Kavanagh added: “I ask the people of Cork City to step up their vigilance on Covid-19 precautions, to put an extra push on limiting their social contacts, observing hand and respiratory hygiene, and wearing their face coverings. Not only is this how we can stop the spread of the virus, it’s also a huge demonstration respect for yourself and for those you love. We can defeat this virus together if we pull together - Cork City’s community spirit kept us all going during the difficult months earlier this year and I have no doubt we can get through this surge in numbers keeping the health and safety of our loved ones and our communities in mind.”
With cases rising, increased measures are being taken by various organisations to safeguard against the spread of the deadly disease.
Ahead of the County Championship between Glen Rover and The Rockies on Sunday, Glen Rovers have announced a ticketed after - match function which will adhere to all health and safety guidelines.
In a statement, the club said: “Our Club is a large one, and it comprises many parts, teams, functions, clubs and societies. It is this mix that makes Glen Rovers unique and it is something that we must strive to preserve.
“Therefore, on Sunday the after-match function will be a ticket-only event and will be exclusively for the team, members, volunteers and family members only. All prevailing Covid19 regulations around social distancing will be complied with.”