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Lockdown restrictions to remain in Kildare as Nphet dashes hopes of early release

The current advice is that they should remain in place until Sunday week.

A Stay Home message on the famous Naas Ball.
A Stay Home message on the famous Naas Ball.
Image: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

ACTING CHIEF MEDICAL Officer Dr. Ronan Glynn has said Covid-19 case numbers in Kildare have not stabilised sufficiently to allow for lockdown restrictions to be eased early. 

Localised restrictions in the county were last week extended for a fortnight after being first introduced on 7 August along with Laois and Offaly.

Laois and Offaly saw restrictions lifted but in Kildare they were extended until 6 September. 

Speaking at the Department of Health this evening, Glynn said that the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) spoke about the situation in Kildare today and decided it was not yet at the point where restrictions could be lifted.

“In relation to Kildare, we did meet today and unfortunately although the situation seems to be improving and stabilising, it hasn’t improved or stabilised to the extent that we would need,” he said. 

It still has the highest 14-day incidence in the country, it still has the highest 7-day incidence in the country. So we will continue to monitor it very closely.

“We’re very very conscious of the effect that the measures are having on the people there but at this point it’s too early to relax the measures,” he added. 

But on the positive side I suppose what I would say is that, over the past week about just about 10% of cases in Kildare are community transmission, which again highlights that the measures that are there, albeit tough, are having precisely the effect we would want. Which is to limit and prevent onward spread. 

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly also said yesterday that the restrictions in Kildare are working, adding: “If they can be lifted early they certainly will be.”

HSE chief clinical officer (COO) Colm Henry said earlier today that it is the desire of public health authorities to recommend lifting the restrictions placed on Kildare “as quickly as possible”. 

009 Dept of Health briefing (1) A slide at this evening's briefing. Source: Leah Farrell/Rollingnews.ie

Glynn dashed those hopes this evening however, saying the current advice is that the local lockdown should remain until 6 September.

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“We said last week that we’ll keep it under review and we will. But for now, the planned recommendation and release of those measures is for Sunday week, but we will keep the situation under review, it’s a dynamic situation.” 

Kildare recorded seven new cases of Covid-19 today, but Glynn said health officials must look at trends over the past few weeks.  

“I sincerely hope that we see a small number of cases in Kildare in the next few days.
But for now we have to look at the trends and the trends are over the last 14 days, and in fact just over the last seven days, Kildare has had more cases per head of population than any other county in the country.”

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Rónán Duffy

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