Covid-19: Median age of people with virus hits record low of 30 years – CSO
Average number of contacts per case among 15-24 year olds is more than 11
The average number of contacts for cases among those aged over 80 years has remained stable at just over two. Photograph: NEXU Science Communication/via Reuters
The median age of new confirmed Covid-19 cases last week at 30 years is the lowest level since figures have been recorded during the pandemic.
New figures published by the Central Statistics Office indicate that more than half of all new confirmed cases in the week ending August 21st were among individuals aged under 30 for the first time.
The CSO figures also reveal that the average number of contacts per positive case among young adults has become significantly higher than other age groups.
While there was very little difference in the number of contacts across different age categories in May, the CSO said the situation has changed in recent months.
An analysis of contact from the HSE’s Covid Care Tracker system shows the average number of contacts per case has more than doubled over the past three months.
The average number of contacts per positive case was more than six in the week ending August 14th compared to less than three in May.
However, the figure for 15-24 year olds who tested positive for Covid-19 is an average of more than 11 contacts.
In contrast, the average number of contacts for positive cases among those aged over 80 years has remained stable at just over two.
The CSO figures show there have been more than 600 new cases in each of the three weeks up to August 21st with more than half of all cases linked to an outbreak or cluster.
The number of new weekly cases in Dublin exceeded 150 in the past two weeks for the first time since May.
According to the CSO, Dublin and Kildare account for almost three-fifths of all new cases, with 361 individuals in the two counties confirmed with Covid-19 last week.
Fewer than ten cases each week have been recorded for at least the last 14 weeks in Mayo, Westmeath, Leitrim, Longford and Kerry.
Waterford has now gone 17 weeks in a row where the number of new cases is also less than ten per week.
The CSO said the number of people who have died from Covid-19 has been below ten per week for the past eight weeks.
To date, the total number of people who died from the virus stands at 1,525 with a further 251 cases cited as a probable death linked to Covid-19.
Approximately 65 per cent of all confirmed Covid-19 related deaths to date have been among those aged 80 and older.
More than a third of all 28,036 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the Republic to date are among the 25-44 age group.
Healthcare workers continue to make up almost a third of cases.
A total of 15 people were hospitalised with Covid-19 in the week ending August 21st compared to a peak of 666 at the end of March.
For the past 14 weeks, fewer than five people have been admitted to an intensive care unit with the virus.
Approximately 53 per cent of all cases to date have been linked to an outbreak which is defined as two or more cases in the same location and time.
Hospitals, residential institutions and nursing homes have accounted for 57 per cent of all confirmed cases related to an outbreak.
The workplace now accounts for 12 per cent of outbreak cases – up from 3 per cent in mid-April.
Last week, almost three-quarters of all cases linked to an outbreak were among those aged under 45.
The CSO said the latest figures indicate a trend of the movement of cases from cities to independent urban towns.
It also highlighted an increase in the proportion of new cases in recent months in areas which had high welfare-dependency rates and where the median household income was between €40,000 and €50,000 but a decline in areas where average income was over €60,000.