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Ireland records its lowest number of daily Covid-19 cases in three weeks, but there are still 18 new positive results across Carlow & Kilkenny

But Carlow's rate per 100,000 population continues to climb

Ireland has recorded its lowest number of daily Covid-19 cases in almost three weeks.

Six deaths were confirmed last evening with 675 new infections, 13 of these are in Carlow with five in Kilkenny.

The national 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 population of the virus is now 299, it’s first time in over a week to fall below the 300 mark.

Cavan has the highest rate in the country at 811, followed by Meath with 598 and then Westmeath with 453. Carlow’s continues to grow and is now at 323.2 placing the county in the seventh highest spot across the country. Kilkenny’s still at third lowest with a rate that has dipped yet again, this time to 173.3.

The number of people in hospital with the virus dropped in the 24 hours from 341 on Tuesday evening to 328 last night while 40 patients were in intensive care units.

Dr Eoghan De Barra says our public health capacity – in terms of testing and tracing – needs to be increased before allowing international travel to resume.

School Settings …

The threat of strike action by teachers must serve as a ‘wake-up call’ to government, say the Labour Party.

Members of the ASTI yesterday voted in favour of industrial action because of concerns stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Rapid testing for schools, a re-definition of close contacts and better arrangements for teachers who’re high risk are among the issues raised.

Labour education spokesperson, Aodhan O’Riordain, says Minister Norma Foley needs to urgently take steps to address these concerns.

Meanwhile, a local creche owner says that Covid outbreaks are “unavoidable”.

It comes as the number of new clusters in childcare facilities increased by 50% this week.

Eleanor Peters runs Play Together in Carlow, which has been closed for the last fortnight after two of her staff contracted the virus.

She’s looking forward to reopening next Monday but has been telling KCLR that the recent spike in the sector’s clusters may be due to delayed reporting.

Northern Ireland …

Northern Ireland’s Chief Medical Officer doesn’t expect that patients will need to be transferred to hospitals across the border.

It comes as ICU beds in the region are rapidly filling up, 97 of the 106 available are now occupied.

The North’s Health Minister has already said he’s confident that surge capacity will not be exceeded.

And CMO Dr Michael McBride says he’s not anticipating the need to send patients down South.

UK …

100,000 people a day in England are estimated to be infected with Covid-19 every day.

Researchers from Imperial College London have warned the epidemic there has reached a “critical stage”.

They say existing measures aren’t working.

The UK’s housing minister Robert Jenrick says Covid-19 is in a “bad place”, but he’s insisted a second national lockdown in England isn’t the solution.

Scotland …

Nicola Sturgeon’s set to reveal later which areas will face the highest level of restrictions in Scotland.

Within the new five tier system, the First Minister’s expected to put the central belt – which includes Glasgow and Edinburgh – into their Tier 3.

Mainland Europe …

France has joined Germany in announcing another national lockdown.

From tomorrow, people are being told to stay home as much as possible.

Bars and restaurants will shut until the 1st of December, but schools will remain open.

President Macron said the second wave of the pandemic would be harder and more deadly than the first.

Other …

People who rely on social media for Covid-19 information have a higher chance of getting into a dispute with others about restrictions.

A survey by King’s College London found they’re four times more likely to have been confronted about not wearing a face covering,

One in 12 people meanwhile no longer speak to friends or family because of disagreements.