Covid-19 cases higher in areas with large proportion of renters, CSO says

A total of 1,503 cases of Covid-19 were confirmed last week

 Areas where more than 25 per cent of the population live in rented accommodation are worst affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO). File photograph: The Irish Times

Areas where more than 25 per cent of the population live in rented accommodation are worst affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO). File photograph: The Irish Times

 

Areas where more than 25 per cent of the population live in rented accommodation are worst affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

Some 56 per cent of all cases of coronavirus have been recorded in these areas, with this rising to 59 per cent for cases confirmed in August and September.

The CSO analysis also shows a movement in the income levels of households affected by the virus.

The CSO found those living in electoral divisions where the median household income is €30,000 or less accounted for 4 per cent of all cases since the pandemic began, but in the last two months this group has accounted for 7 per cent of cases.

Cases among those living in areas where the median household income is between €40,000 and €50,000 have increased over this period accounting for 31 per cent of cases in the last two months compared to 26 per cent of all cases since the start of the pandemic.

The data also shows that there has been an increase in the proportions of cases in areas of higher working age welfare dependency in the last two months, having accounted for 19 per cent of cases at the end of July, these areas have accounted for 27 per cent of cases in the last seven weeks.

There were 1,503 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the week ending September 18th, a decrease of 73 cases from the previous week.

New cases

Dublin made up 56 per cent of all new cases, a total of 840 cases, for the week ended September 18th, which is the second week in a row that Dublin had more than 800 weekly cases.

Some 18,096 positive Covid-19 cases are linked to an outbreak, which is defined as two or more cases in the same location and time.

Outbreaks in private houses account for 55 per cent of cases linked to an outbreak in the last seven weeks, while the workplace accounts for 17 per cent of cases linked to an outbreak over this period.

Nursing homes accounted for 4 per cent of all confirmed cases related to an outbreak in the last seven weeks, a decrease from 44 per cent of cases at the end of July.

The median age of new confirmed Covid-19 cases was 33-years-old.

The average number of contacts per positive case per week is six in the week ending September 11th, up from five two weeks ago.

In the 0 to 14 age group, the number of contacts has increased to more than 10 contacts per case in September, from just over four in late August, coinciding with the reopening of schools.

Weekly testing numbers from HSE labs and hospitals also show a large increase in tests over the last seven weeks, with 81,463 tests being carried out in week ending September 18th - the highest since testing began.

As testing has increased, the positivity rate has also risen from a low of 0.2 per cent positive in week ending July 24th to 2.3 per cent positive in week ending August 18th.

This is a large decrease on the positivity rate of 23.2 per cent positive in week ending April 3rd.