As concern mounts over the volume of Covid-19 cases being reported nationally, new figures show that eight separate local electoral areas (LEAs) in Cork have recorded 14-day incidence rates of the virus which were above the national average.
According to newly released data from the Covid-19 data hub, which relates to the 14-day period to November 15, the Cork City North West LEA recorded the highest 14-day incidence rate of the virus in Cork at 1,717 per 100,000 population.
The figure is significantly higher than the national average incidence rate of 1,160.7 per 100,000 of the population and a jump from the 14-day incidence recorded by the LEA last week of 1,164.6.
A total of 690 cases of the virus were reported in the LEA over the same period.
The Mallow LEA had the second-highest incidence rate of the virus in Cork at 1,612 per 100,000 people, recording 470 cases.
It was followed by the Cork City North East LEA which recorded a 14-day incidence rate of 1,456 per 100,000 people and 614 cases.
The Cobh LEA had a 14-day incidence rate of 1,448 per 100,000 people and reported 494 cases while the Cork City South West LEA had an incidence of 1,317.8 per 100,000 of the population with 620 cases.
The Fermoy LEA had a 14-day incidence rate of 1,280 per 100,000 of the population and reported 466 cases while the Macroom LEA had an incidence rate of 1,186.1 and reported 437 cases.
The Cork City South Central LEA also recorded a 14-day incidence rate which was above the national average. It recorded 456 cases in the two-week period and an incidence of 1,179.3 per 100,000.
There was a drop in the 14-day incidence rate of the virus reported by the Kanturk LEA from 1,279.3 last week to 1,139 this week-below the national average. 284 cases of the virus were reported in the LEA in the two weeks to November 15.
The Cork City South East LEA had a 14-day incidence of 1058.9 per 100,000 and recorded 453 cases while the Midleton LEA, which includes Youghal, had an incidence rate of 1038.7 and reported 472 cases.
The Carrigaline LEA had an incidence rate of 1030.1 per 100,000 and reported 362 cases while the Bandon-Kinsale LEA had an incidence of 882.8 with 329 cases.
The Skibbereen-West Cork LEA had a 14-day incidence rate of 637.4 with 193 cases and the Bantry-West Cork LEA had an incidence rate of 570.8 per 100,000 population with 128 cases.
The Skibbereen-West Cork LEA and Bantry-West Cork LEAs are among ten LEAs across the country which reported the lowest 14-day incidence rates of the virus.
The LEA with the lowest incidence rate nationally was Belmullet in Mayo with 317.5 cases per 100,000 of the population.
Yesterday, HSE Chief Executive Paul Reid warned that the Irish health system is under “inconceivable strain” and said the service is facing the “highest level of impact and risk we’ve had to manage since Covid landed here”.
He told a briefing on Thursday: “The situation in our hospitals and healthcare systems overall is very serious,” as they struggle to deliver both regular care and respond to the pressures of the fourth wave of the virus.
Mr Reid warned that services will face “unyielding and unrelenting strain over the next while”.
In response to warnings from health officials, the Government earlier this week announced fresh measures in a bid to reverse the surging number of cases.
Pubs, nightclubs and restaurants must now close at midnight, and people are being urged to work from home from today if they can.
There will also be a more widespread use of antigen testing.
A further 4,650 cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in Ireland on Thursday evening.