Drogheda worst affected area for Covid-19 in the State

Local area data shows one in every 41 people in the town are infected

Drogheda has emerged as the locality with the highest rate of Covid-19 in the State, according to the latest weekly figures on coronavirus infections broken down by local electoral area.

Three local electoral areas in and around the Co Louth town are among the five worst affected areas for the disease, new data from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre shows.

There were 668 infections recorded in the local electoral area covering Drogheda during the two weeks to November 15th, giving it an incidence rate of 2,415 cases per 100,000 people.

This is more than double the national average of 1,160 cases per 100,000 people based on the figures for the latest fortnightly reporting period.

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One in every 41 people living in Drogheda, the State’s largest town, has Covid-19, based on this data.

The rural electoral area located just north of the town, Drogheda Rural LEA-4, has an incidence rate of 1,963 per 100,000 people, making it the third most-infected locality in the country.

Laytown-Bettystown in Co Meath, just south of the town, had the fifth highest incidence rate with 1,878 cases per 100,000.

Carndonagh on the Malin Head peninsula in Co Donegal, which had the highest rate of infections last week, now has the second highest incidence rate in the State with 1,974 cases per 100,000.

Ballinamore in Co Leitrim had the fourth highest incidence rate with 1,957 cases per 100,000.

Other areas among the 10 worst-affected are Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim (1,829 per 100,000), Donaghmede in north Dublin (1,786 per 100,000), Tullow, Co Carlow (1,785 per 100,000), Ongar in north-west Dublin (1,783 per 100,000) and Mullingar, Co Westmeath (1,752 per 100,000).

The remote west-coast town of Belmullet in Co Mayo, which had the highest incidence rate during the third wave of the pandemic in January, remains the area with the lowest infections.

It had an incidence rate of 317 cases per 100,000, about a quarter of the national average. Infections last January pushed Belmullet’s incidence rate to more than 6,000 cases per 100,000.

Other areas with low infection rates include Bantry and Skiberbeen in west Cork, Monaghan and south Connemara where the incidence rates range from 571 cases to 656 cases per 100,000.

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell is The Irish Times’s Public Affairs Editor and former Washington correspondent