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Leah Farrell/

Ireland’s 14-day incidence rate of Covid-19 continues to decline

The number of people with Covid-19 in hospital is now 351.

THE 14-DAY INCIDENCE rate of Covid-19 has dropped again, new figures show.

Data collected by the HSE’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) shows that the national incidence now stands at 491.9 confirmed cases per 100,000 people.

The data published today shows the pattern of Covid-19 cases in the two weeks leading up to 2 September.

The incidence rate in the two weeks before that stood at 523.3 cases for every 100,000 people.

The highest incidence rate remains in Donegal and Monaghan, with 1,185 cases and 1,498 cases respectively.

The total number of confirmed cases in the last two weeks was 23,422.

The number of people in hospital with Covid-19 is now 351.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said the impact of the vaccination programme continues to be seen across the population.

“The downward trends in Covid-19 infections is now also very evident in younger age groups as they come forward for vaccinations and also adhere to the general measures to keep each other safe,” Donnelly tweeted.

“It is thanks to the collective efforts of everyone that we are on a pathway out of this pandemic and we can progress towards the full reopening of society,” he said.

“We can see this progress with further reopening today. But as we continue vaccinations and as we reopen we also need to continue to be safe and to mind each other. Covid-19 hasn’t gone away.

The 14-day incidence rates for people aged between 35-44 is similar to that of people aged over 85, he said.

45% of all hospitalised cases notified in August were in people younger than 50.

“We can continue to break the chains of transmission, through vaccination and doing the things we have become so used to, washing hands, mask-wearing and being careful. Stay safe.”

HSE chief executive Paul Reid said that another 9,500 people used walk-in vaccination centres over the weekend.

“Positively, over 50% of these were in the 12 to 15 age groups,” he said.

“The walk-in centres have proven to provide a very flexible option for all age groups.”

It comes as there was a major easing of Covid-19 restrictions today, with live music returning and larger crowds allowed at indoor venues.

The government confirmed last week that it would be embarking on a phased easing of Covid-19 restrictions, which will eventually see the removal of the vast majority of regulations by the end of October.

The numbers permitted to attend outdoor sports events increased today, while restrictions on indoor venues were eased, with larger crowds allowed.

Indoor venues can use up to 60% of capacity when holding events for people who are fully vaccinated.

For outdoor events, 75% of capacity is available for vaccinated people.

Live music at weddings has also returned, with the number of people allowed to attend fixed at 100.

All religious ceremonies are allowed to proceed with 50% of venue capacity regardless of the immunity status of those there.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said on Saturday that Ireland should “take some heart” from early indications that rates of Covid-19 in Ireland may be declining.

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