Galway, Waterford, Laois, Cork, Offaly, Clare, Limerick, Wicklow and Kerry are now the worst-hit counties for Covid-19.

They all had an incidence rate of over 280 per 100,000 in the past week, figures for the spread of the virus reveal.

The Irish Independent reports that the measure lags behind the full level of infection sweeping the country and is based on free HSE PCR tests.

It does not take into account those who found they had the virus through home antigen tests or the many who had mild or no symptoms.

The lowest incidence levels were seen in Mayo, Roscommon, Leitrim, Monaghan, Cavan, Louth, Wexford, and Kilkenny.

The report from the disease watchdog, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC), comes as Ireland remains engulfed in a summer Covid-19 wave, hitting industry and sparking high levels of staff absence due to the need to self-isolate.

GPs are reporting people are developing possible symptoms but not following the advice to self-isolate until 48 hours after signs of illness disappear.

Some are relying on home antigen tests, which can initially show up a negative result.

The advice to people with potential symptoms is to self-isolate until two days after they have gone, and not to see a negative antigen test as a green light.

Latest figures show 812 patients in hospital have been diagnosed with the virus, up from 798 yesterday.

Of these, 33 were in intensive care, indicating an upward trend.

Around half are there due to Covid-19 illness and the rest are in hospital with other illnesses but tested positive.

Over 300 confirmed hospitalised cases have never been vaccinated against Covid-19.

HSE Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Colm Henry says it's highly disruptive to hospital services...



The impact of the wave is seen in a rise in outbreaks last week, particularly in nursing homes, where they more than doubled from 11 to 23.

There were 24 outbreaks in hospitals, a rise of one over the previous week.


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