Longford town and surrounding areas now have the highest rate of Covid-19 in the State, according to latest figures.
The local electoral area (LEA) with a population of 16,046, has recorded 272 cases between October 12th and 25th, giving it a 14-day incidence rate of 1,695.1 cases per 100,000.
The national average of 587 cases per 100,000 of the population is up considerably on the 14-day average taken last week, when it was 493 per 100,000, according to figures produced by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre.
Waterford city and county continues to have very high rates of Covid-19 infection, despite having some of the highest rates of vaccination. Some 99.7 per cent of adults over the age of 18 (as registered in the last census) are fully vaccinated in the county. The city's south LEA has a 14-day incidence rate of 1,672.9 cases per 100,000 of the population. The number of cases has risen in consecutive 14-day periods. Previously it had an incidence rate of 1,486 cases per 100,000.
The neighbouring LEA of Pilltown in Co Kilkenny has the third highest rate at 1,232.3 cases per 100,000. Waterford City East LEA has 1,148.5 cases per 100,000 and Tramore has 1,099.6 cases per 100,000.
The LEAs with the fourth and fifth highest rates in the country are Borris-in-Ossory/Mountmellick in Co Laois at 1,221 cases per 100,000 and Kenmare in Co Kerry at 1,256 per 100,000.
Kerry which, like Waterford, once had the lowest rates of Covid-19 in the country, now has among the highest, with both Tralee (1,210.7 per 100,000) and Castleisland (1,108.2 per 100,000) having fortnightly rates of more than 1,000 cases per 100,000. Kanturk in Co Cork, which is on the Co Kerry border, has a rate of 1,098.4 cases per 100,000.
Ennistymon in Co Clare (1,054.4 per 100,000), Granard in Co Longford (1,039.9 per 100,000) and Carlow town (1,019.9 per 100,00) are the other areas with incidences above 1,000 cases per 100,000 over the last fortnight.
This is the equivalent of 1 per cent of the population testing positive for Covid-19 over the last fortnight.
Belmullet LEA in Co Mayo (119 cases per 100,000) and Rosslare LEA in Co Wexford (181.1 per 100,000) have among the lowest rates in the State. Other places with low rates include Ballymote/Tobercurry in Co Sligo (209 per 100,000) and Trim, Co Meath, at 230.8 cases per 100,000.