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NPHET recommends further nationwide visitor restrictions as it notes concern over 'disease severity'

New Covid-19 cases were confirmed in every county today, with 442 new cases.
Oct 1st 2020, 3:53 PM 170,423 143

Updated Oct 1st 2020, 6:45 PM

THE NATIONAL PUBLIC Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has recommended new restrictions nationwide on household visitors as Covid-19 cases continue to rise.

NPHET has this afternoon recommended that household visits nationwide should be limited to six people from one visiting household, both in counties that are currently at Level 2 and those at Level 3.

New Covid-19 cases were confirmed in every county today, with 442 new cases and 4 new deaths confirmed in the latest figures.

Cabinet will not convene to discuss the latest measures recommended by NPHET because there has not been a change advised to any county’s current level.

A government spokesperson said that Cabinet had already agreed to Level 2 restrictions for the country and Level 3 for Dublin and Donegal, and that today’s recommendations fell within current parameters.

Dublin’s Level 3 status is due to expire next Friday, with a decision on whether it will be extended due to come next week.

In Donegal, Level 3 restrictions are to continue for at least the next two weeks from Saturday.

The 14-day incidence rate of Covid-19 in Donegal is the highest in the country at 211.1 per 100,000.

In Dublin, the 14-day incidence stands at 159.3 per 100,000, with 2,147 cases confirmed in the last two weeks.

The number of confirmed cases since Covid-19 was first reported in Ireland currently stands at 36,155.

A statement from NPHET this evening said:

The National Public Health Emergency Team met today to review the epidemiological situation nationally.
The NPHET noted a further deterioration from last week. The 5 day average for cases is now 412 and 18 counties have an increased incidence rate when compared with last week.
The reproduction number is estimated to be between 1.2 and 1.4, with the growth rate in cases between 4-5% per day.
NPHET today noted a particular concern in relation to trends in indicators of disease severity. There are 119 people in hospital with 20 in critical care and there were 32 deaths in September.
While there continues to be a number of counties with particularly high incidence, the NPHET’s main concern now is the overall national picture.
Given the disease profile, NPHET today recommended that no more than 2 households should meet at any given time. People should only have a maximum of 6 visitors from 1 other household to their home. People can continue to meet socially in other settings, but only with people from one other household.
NPHET have further advised that Government extend the Level 2 measures currently in place for a further period of three weeks, with Donegal and Dublin remaining at Level 3. NPHET will continue to monitor this situation very closely.

Yesterday, acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn said that NPHET had not observed enough of an improvement in Dublin’s Covid-19 cases to move from Level 3 restrictions to Level 2.

At a meeting of the Covid-19 Oireachtas Committee, Glynn said that “the measures that were put in place last Friday week for Dublin, would only be beginning to take effect yesterday, today, tomorrow”.

“We do need to see significant improvement over the coming days in Dublin and we’ve not seen it yet,” Glynn said.

“The optimist in me would say that Dublin appears to be stabilising. But that’s an optimistic note and I do think we need to see what happens over the next three to four days in particular,” he said.

At Level 3 in Dublin, people have been asked to limit their social contacts and not to leave the county except for education, work, or other essential purposes.

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Restaurants and pubs serving food can only operate in outdoor areas and with a maximum of 15 people.

Organised outdoor events may take place with up to 15 people, but no organised indoor events are allowed, and weddings and funerals can take place with up to 25 attendees.

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Lauren Boland

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