More than half of confirmed cases of Covid-19 are now linked to an outbreak – which is defined as two or more cases in the same location and time – with private homes accounting for 61 per cent of outbreak-linked cases for the last seven weeks, new figures show.
Data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO), as part of its Covid-19 deaths and cases series, showed there were 2,440 cases last week, up 66 on the previous week.
The number of confirmed cases has been more than 2,000 for the past three weeks, the CSO said. The data also showed that Dublin accounted for a third (805) of all new cases for the week ending October 2nd.
It was the fourth week in a row that Dublin had more than 800 weekly cases and the sixth week in a row that all counties have recorded new cases of the virus.
Women still make up the majority of confirmed cases, but in recent months this difference has lessened with men accounting for 52 per cent of cases in August and 49 per cent of all cases in September, the CSO analysis states.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, some 21,062 positive Covid-19 cases have been linked to an outbreak, which is defined as two or more cases in the same location and time.
Women account for 53 per cent of all cases linked to an outbreak and the median age is 45. However, for the week ending October 2nd, 87 per cent of cases linked to an outbreak were found in people under 44 years old.
Last week, 72 people were hospitalised with Covid-19, the second week in a row that the number of people hospitalised has increased.
The total number of people who have died from Covid-19 is 1,572, with a further 229 deaths cited as probable deaths linked to the virus. Eight Covid-related deaths were recorded last week.
The virus continues to hit the older age groups the hardest, with 64 per cent of all confirmed Covid-19 deaths to date in the 80 years old or older age group.
Around 1,494 of the Covid-19 deaths happened to people with underlying conditions. Of the 125 deaths in the 25-64 age group, 109 had underlying conditions. Chronic heart disease was present in 44 per cent of deaths.
The average number of contacts per positive case per week is five in the week ending September 25th, down from six two weeks ago. The number of contacts in the 15-24 age group has decreased to six contacts per case in September from just over 10 in August.
Weekly testing numbers from HSE labs and hospitals show that testing hit its highest level of 90,697 tests in week ending September 25th, falling to 86,669 in the week ending October 2nd.
The case test positivity rate last week was 3.2 per cent up from 2.5 per cent the previous week.