Fresh data show Co Waterford worst affected by coronavirus

County has highest rate of the disease but also highest vaccination numbers in State

The figures reflect a sharp increase in the disease countrywide. File photograph: The Irish Times

Waterford continues to have the worst incidence of Covid-19 in the State despite also having the highest rate of vaccination.

Five of the six local authority areas in the county have a 14-day incidence rate of more than 1,000 cases per 100,000 of the population, meaning that in the last fortnight one person in 100 has tested positive.

The Waterford City South has the highest rate in the State with a 14-day incidence rate of 1,481.7 per 100,000, though this is down on last week’s 1,672.9 per 100,000.

The other local authority areas in Waterford with 14-day rates of higher than 1,000 per 100,000 are Lismore (1,221.6), Waterford City East (1,209.4), Portlaw-Kilmacthomas (1,045) and Tramore-Waterford City West (1,032).

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Some 96.6 per cent of people over the age of 12 and 99.5 per cent of people over the age of 18 are fully vaccinated in the county, according to the latest figures on vaccination produced by the Health Service Executive.

Kerry too has a high rate of infection with Castleisland (1,289), Kenmare (1,129.2) and Tralee (1,129.0) Local authority areas all have rates above 1,000 per 100,000 cases.

The second highest rate countrywide is in Longford town at 1,445.8 per 100,000. Neighbouring Granard has a rate of 1,105.6 per 100,000.

Other local authority areas with 14-day rates above 1,000 per 100,000 are Cahir (1,182.3) and Nenagh (1,066.8) in Co Tipperary, Carrick-on-Shannon (1,056.2) and Manorhamilton (1.025.8) in Co Leitrim, Graiguecullen-Portarlington (1,042.9) in Co Laois, Drogheda (1,102) in Co Louth, Ashbourne (1,000.7) in Co Meath, Carndonagh (1,167.2) in Co Donegal, Arklow (1,138.1) in Co Wicklow and Kanturk (1,243.2) in Co Cork.

The area with by far the lowest rate of infection in the State is Belmullet, Co Mayo, which recorded a 14-day incidence rate of 95.2 per 100,000.

Belmullet immunity

It had one of the highest rates in the country during the third wave of the disease. Paul Moynagh, professor of immunology at Maynooth University, said the high prevalence in Belmullet in January generated "significant levels of immunity from natural infection" and that this was likely even an underestimate given that not all infections are detected.

Other places with relatively low virus levels are Thurles (278.9) and Clonmel (292.1) in Co Tipperary and Rosslare in Co Wexford (338.9).

The figures are produced on a weekly basis by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre and cover the period between October 19th and November 1st.

They reflect the sharp increases in the disease countrywide. The 14-day incidence rate in the State has gone from 587 cases per 100,000 to 695 per 100,000 in the last week.

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times