News

Demand for Covid testing rises amid high incidence rate in Waterford

Weddings, hen parties and communions have contributed to increased demand for Covid tests, according to the HSE.

About 100,000 tests were done over the past week - with a notable spike in the past five days.

There were 11 per cent more tests on Saturday than the previous Saturday with high demand in Waterford.

The county now has the highest 7 day incidence rate in the country at 351 per 100,00 population and a five day moving average of 58 cases.

Advertisement

Nationally, the five-day moving average is now 1,578.

Yesterday, the Department of Health was notified of 1,358 new confirmed cases of Covid-19.

Hospital figures

The number of Covid patients in hospital dropped to 383 on Monday night - after a fall of 17 in the space of 12 hours.

But last night's figure is still 16 per cent higher than a week ago.

Advertisement

44 Covid patients are in University Hospital Limerick - which is the highest in the country.

Tallaght has 38 patients with the virus, while Cork University Hospital has 33.

University Hospital Waterford has 14 patients on site with the virus - down 2 on the previous 24 hours - none are in ICU.

It comes as the chief executive of the HSE Paul Reid has warned it is going to be a “very challenging” winter for the health service.

Speaking to Newstalk  Mr Reid outlined the current situation with Covid-19 figures after it was confirmed there were 393 being with the virus in hospital on Sunday night, 74 of whom were in intensive care units, a rise of 23 per cent.

In the last four days the number of cases has increased from 1,500 to 2,000 per day, Mr Reid added. Of the 74 patients in intensive care, 67 per cent were unvaccinated and three per cent were partially vaccinated, he said.

Mr Reid also pointed out that of the 74 in intensive care, 58 per cent were aged over 50 and 40 per cent were in the 15-49 age group, highlighting the risk of serious illness for those who were not vaccinated.

“It’s going to be a very difficult winter. Our staff are exhausted,” Mr Reid said.

A number of initiatives were going to be introduced to cope with the pressures on the health service during this “challenging time”, he added.

The measures included a procurement agreement with private hospitals, providing 1,000 bed days per week for non-Covid care, along with extra capacity for operating theatres and clinics and the National Treatment Purchase Fund. There would also be a focus on treatment in the community and keeping people safely at home.

Mr Reid repeated calls for anyone who is not already vaccinated to do so: “No one will be left behind”.

Advertisement