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14 people with Covid19 now being treated at St Luke’s General Hospital for Carlow and Kilkenny

It's as 18 new cases of the virus were confirmed across both counties

Kilkenny’s one of the counties to have a 14 day incidence rate above 100 per 100,000 population.

Figures released last evening show the country’s rate of 92 is exceeded by seven counties, including Kilkenny which remains in the country’s fourth highest position with a rate of 132. Carlow’s meanwhile stands at 75.5.

It’s as two additional deaths were announced last evening with 299 new cases of the virus, 11 of these in Kilkenny with a further seven in Carlow.

Last night there were 257 patients with Covid-19 in Irish hospitals, 14 of them at St Luke’s General Hospital for Carlow and Kilkenny which had three admissions in the latest 24 hour stretch, the country’s highest. While 30 of the patents are being treated in Intensive Care Units across the country.


The Covid-19 vaccine taskforce meet later as the country enters the final day of Level 5 restrictions.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has said he expects jabs to be rolled out here in the New Year, with healthcare workers and those with vulnerable conditions expected to be treated first.

It comes amid increased calls for pop-up testing to deal with localised outbreaks of the virus.

Professor Sam McConkey from the RCSI says once restaurants open again, the settings could allow the disease to spread.


In the North

The Health Minister says the Government is still exploring solutions to share passenger data between the Republic and the North.

It’s after letters in the Business Post outlined difficulty with keeping track of people who fly into one jurisdiction and travel to the other.

Stephen Donnelly says he’s been in constant contact with his Northern counterpart Robin Swann about it.

However the Minister says there are some legal difficulties with sharing the information.

In the UK

Santa’s grottos can open in England, and door-to-door carol singing will be allowed under any new coronavirus restrictions.

The British government’s published its Christmas guidance, which also confirms a five-day travel window from December the 23rd.

Festive markets will depend on which tier a region’s placed into, though people can attend places of worship in any case.