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NPHET to decide on Thursday if Level Three is working, as positive Covid-19 cases in Carlow & Kilkenny reach almost 850

The country's top health officials are considering whether masks should be used outdoors

The National Public Health Emergency team will make a call on Thursday on whether or not Level Three is working.

The national 14 day incidence rate is now 167 per 100 thousand people, a 43% increase in the past week. Carlow & Kilkenny are at the lower end of this, in the bottom five counties.

One more death was confirmed last evening with 825 new cases, at least one of which is in Carlow & Kilkenny. While Teach Dolmain in Carlow has announced that it’s closing until further notice after a staff member tested positive for the virus.

It adds to 526 positive tests in Kilkenny to date with 316 in Carlow (as of midnight Saturday, 10th October).

Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan says Level Three has had some impact in Dublin, where it’s been in place for four weeks.

However, he says cases are beginning to grow in the capital again noting “And we saw some stabilisation in the numbers over the course of days of last week and we would have reported that the five day incidence for example in Dublin did drop but in each of the last three days we’ve seen case numbers up again in Dublin, well in excess of 200 I think, so I don’t think we can conclude that we’ve turned a corner in Dublin”.

The country’s top health officials are considering whether masks should be used outdoors.

Dr Ronan Glynn, the deputy chief medical officer, says it’s something NPHET is weighing up saying “We do look obviously at the evidence around masks all the time, obviously we’ll continue to look at that in terms of people wearing masks outdoors, if people in the first instance focus on wearing masks appropriately in the settings that they’re currently recommended that would be a very significant step forward, we see, unfortunately, far too many examples of people wearing masks under their chin, exposing their nose”.


There’s nearly a thousand more people getting the Pandemic Unemployment Payment in Carlow and Kilkenny this morning.

5,572 people are getting the PUP into their bank accounts this morning.

It’s up 273 in Carlow and 669 in Kilkenny even though a hundred people have signed off the payment after going back to work.

There’s also 2,472 people getting the enhanced illness benefit for either having Covid-19 or being medically certified to self-isolate.

That’s up 20 in Carlow and 35 in Kilkenny on last week’s figures.

Travel …

Irish Ministers will attend an EU meeting in Luxembourg today to discuss the new traffic light system for international travel.

The EU’s General Affairs Council will also discuss the negotiations with the UK on a trade agreement.

Ireland has agreed to sign up to the traffic light system, which will allow more unrestricted travel between EU countries.

But Minister for European Affairs, Thomas Byrne, who will attend today’s meeting, says it’s not very relevant at the moment.

Gyms …

Gym owners are calling for their businesses to be deemed essential in the event of stricter Covid-19 restrictions.

A group has formed to lobby the Government, saying they believe they can continue to open with strict social distancing and good cleaning routines in place.

They argue that as going to the gym is good for people’s health and wellbeing, the businesses should be allowed continue.

Herd Immunity …

The head of the World Health Organisation has ruled out using herd immunity, to stop the spread of Covid-19.

It is the term to describe what happens when the population becomes immune through vaccination or mass infection.

For measles the herd immunity point is over 90 percent, while for polio it is at around 80 percent of the population.

Dr Tedros Adhanom says the strategy would be ‘simply unethical.’

Elsewhere …

The Stormont executive will hold a special meeting this morning to consider bringing in new Covid-19 restrictions in Northern Ireland.

Health officials have recommended a tighter lockdown for four to six weeks, after an average of 880 cases a day over the past week.

Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal may be moved to level 4 restrictions if new measures are introduced in the North.

UK Government scientists recommended a ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown there last month – however the advice wasn’t taken.

Minutes from a British advisory group reveal it was the top suggestion.

Instead, a three-tier system is being introduced tomorrow – with the Liverpool city region getting the toughest rules.

A man in the US has caught Covid-19 twice – with the second infection more serious than the first.

The 25-year-old – who had no underlying conditions – needed hospital treatment to help him breathe, but he since recovered.

It’s only the fifth official confirmation of reinfection worldwide.


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