Covid 19

  • The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has been informed of an additional 13 deaths related to Covid-19, bringing the total number of deaths in Ireland related to the novel coronavirus to 1,604.

    A further 76 confirmed cases have also been announced.

    There is now a total of 24,582 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland.


    The State's chief medical officer says the country isn't yet in a position to ease some Covid-19 restrictions on 18th May.

     1,375 people with the virus have died after a further 37 fatalities were confirmed last night, while there are now 22,248 diagnosed cases.

     An additional two cases in Mayo brings the number of confirmed cases to 512, with 375 in Galway.

    An additional 31 confirmed cases were reported in Co Roscommon, bringing the number to 212, with 121 confirmed cases in Sligo.

     From May 18th, the gradual lifting of measures is due to begin, with the return of outdoor workers, and the reopening of DIY stores and garden centres.

     Dr Tony Holohan says that's not guaranteed, but he remains hopeful..


  • Hospitals have reported a further reduction in the number of patients admitted with confirmed and suspected cases of Covid-19.

    There are now a total of 902 patients in hospitals with either confirmed or suspected coronavirus.

    The hospitals with the most confirmed cases are in Dublin, while Mayo University Hospital has 31 patients with confirmed Covid-19 and 14 suspected cases.

    The latest HSE figures also show there are 90 patients with the virus in intensive care units across the country, which is also reduction on recent days.

    Meanwhile, the testing criteria issued to GPs for Covid-19 has been broadened, so that patients no longer need to be in an at-risk group to be referred for a test.

    Patients need only to have a sudden onset of either a cough, fever, or shortness of breath, and no other cause that explains their illness, to be eligible for testing.

    They need to be referred by their GP for a test.

  • 44 more people have died after contracting Covid-19 in the Republic.

    The death toll across the country now stands at 530.

    In the past 24 hours 702 new cases have been detected, including 112 from swabs sent to German labs.

    The total number of positive tests now stands at 13,980.

    In Mayo there are now 259 confirmed Cases of Covid-19.

    There are 266 cases in Galway, 69 in Sligo and 61 confirmed cases in Roscommon.


    The Cabinet sub-committee on Covid-19 will meet today to discuss the impact of the major restrictions introduced last Friday.

    The death toll due to the virus in the Republic has increased to 85.

    14 further patients died from the virus yesterday - none of the latest deaths were in the West of Ireland - there were 4 deaths in the South and 10 in the East of the country.

    An additional 212 cases have been confirmed, bringing the number of confirmed cases to 3,447.

    THE number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Mayo has increased to 48.

    The rise reflects the escalation of testing with the opening of a testing centres in Castlebar.

    The number of confirmed cases in Galway is 88, there are 22 in Sligo and 10 in both Sligo and Roscommon.

  • A further ten people with Covid 19 have died in the Republic.

    It brings the death toll here to 1,497.

    There are also 159 new confirmed cases - the total now stands at 23,401.


    A three month agreement has been made for private hospitals to operate as public facilities.

    19 hospitals with a capacity of under 2,000 beds with 47 intensive care units will be used by the HSE - however the total cost of the deal has not been finalised.

    The hospitals will treat patients with coronavirus and those who need elective surgeries, and aims to relieve pressure on the current system.

    Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says any people who use the facilities will be treated as public patients:

  • Ballina Fringe Festival, now in its third year, will take place from the 9th to the 18th of October. 

    The good news was announced today by festival organisers, who are actively planning ahead and looking forward to this year’s festival.

    An artistic exploration of life lived on the North Mayo coast, the festival plans to bring another lively programme of visual arts, music, spoken word and theatre to life this year, with contingency build in for socially distant and innovatively delivered events if required at that time.

    Pure Ballina, the festival’s signature street art programme that brought striking and colourful contemporary street art to Ballina will continue in 2020, with yet another street artist in residence working alongside some of Ballina’s community groups.

    Festival organisers are working to finalise a programme of events at present, as well as identifying prospective partners for the Pure Ballina street art project.

    A call for street artists will issue shortly and fundraising for the festival is ongoing.

    Festival updates will continue online at, in the press and on social media.

  • The Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council is asking people not to visit county Mayo over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

    Westport based councillor Brendan Mulroy is urging everyone to adhere to the national Covid 19 restrictions and not to visit family or friends this Easter, not to travel to holiday  homes, or to the county's beaches and mountains - unless they live within 2km  of these facilities.

    Speaking with Teresa O'Malley, the Cathaoirleach said it's a difficult ask, but necessary if we are to “flatten the curve” on the spread of the virus.

  • The Saolta Hospital group needs to make a statement urgently on claims of a crossover of nursing staff between Covid and non-Covid patients at Mayo University Hospital.

    That's the view of Mayo Fianna Fail TD Dara Calleary, who has also written to the Minister for Health this morning asking that he provide a report on the matter to the Dail.

    Nurses at the Castlebar Hospital claim the crossover of staff between Covid positive and negative patients has continued up to this week, despite a claim by the Saolta Hospital group CEO Tony Canavan on Midwest News several weeks ago that this practice had ceased from 21st April.

    Midwest News again contacted the Saolta Hospital group last night to ask if there is currently any crossover of staff between positive and negative patients, and to request a further interview with hospital management.

    We were informed this morning that CEO of the Saolta Group Tony Canavan is not available for interview today. We have requested that he, or the hospital manager, speak with us as soon as possible.

    Councillor Michael Kilcoyne, Cathaoirleach of the Castlebar Municipal District, has now called on the Minister for Health Simon Harris to investigate what's going on at the Castlebar hospital, with the aim of preventing the further spread of the virus among patients and staff.

    This lunchtime, Deputy Dara Calleary says he has now raised these concerns at Ministerial level, but says hospital management also need to respond as a matter of urgency...

  • The Government is said to be considering accelerating the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions if the number of new cases continues to decline.

    The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar may make an announcement in early June on easing parts of the lockdown.

    The next phase in the planned easing of the lockdown is due on June 8th, with a further phase on June 29th, and another on July 20th. But if the numbers of cases and deaths continue to fall in the coming weeks, some aspects of the July 20th opening could be brought forward to June 29th.

    The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) said four additional Covid-19 deaths and 57 new cases were reported yesterday, a significant fall when compared to the height of the crisis.

    Nonetheless the number of confirmed cases in Mayo continues to rise, with rises in confirmed cases in counties Galway and Roscommon again yesterday.

    The number of people who have tested positive for Covid 19 in Mayo now stands at 568, that’s up 4, the number in Galway is 458 (up 3), Roscommon 318 (up 4), Sligo remains the same at 129, and Leitrim the same at 82.


    The Dublin Horse Show has been cancelled due to the coronavirus.

    The Horse Show was due to take place at the RDS in Dublin from 15-19 July, but this evening the RDS has announced the event is cancelled,  as part of the national effort to control the virus.




    The 6th coronavirus testing centre was commissioned today for the HSE region covering the counties of Mayo, Roscommon and Galway.

    A testing centre is up and running at the new swimming pool complex at Lough Lannagh Castlebar, and efforts are now underway with the GAA to secure another large drive-through testing facility in Castlebar.

    Tomorrow a new drive through coronavirus test centre will be up and running at Galway airport.

    Anyone with symptoms of the virus should first check the HSE website, and then contact their GP who may then refer them to a local testing centre

  • Farming organisations are calling for more assistance for farmers during the Covid-19 crisis.

    The Irish Natura & Hill Farmers Association is calling for an additional €100 million to be added to the 2020 ANC scheme to compensate the primary producers of sucklers, store cattle, sheep and lambs.

    INHFA President Colm O'Donnell says the Agriculture Minister has a duty of care to ensure that our primary producers get financial supports as quickly as possible to help with cash flow.

    Meanwhile, as beef prices continue their downward trend this week, the IFA is calling on the Government to distribute the €24 million euro unspent from the Beef Exceptional Aid Measure to be distributed to farmers, to help alleviate their financial pressures during the current crisis.

    The Irish Farmers Association is calling putting pressure on the European Commission to implement an "Aids to Private Storage" scheme, which would put beef into storage until markets recover from the current crisis.

  • Former All Ireland winner with Donegal  - Mark McHugh  has revealed he was one of the players who said they would be against a return to action this year.

    A Club Players' Association survey found that 22 per cent of players would not return to training or playing before a COVID-19 vaccine is found.

    21 per cent said they weren't sure.

    McHugh who plays for Kilcar in Donegal is against taking any chances.

  • Four more cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in Ireland.

    A family of four in Co Clare tested positive for Covid 19 after returning from Northern Italy.

    The two males and two females are the first cluster here and brings to 6 the number of confirmed cases in the Republic.

    3 cases have been confirmed in the North.

  • The number of Mayo people who travelled to Cheltenham in March, compared to Galway residents, may be one of the reasons that so many people in Mayo have tested positive for Covid-19, compared to people in Galway.

    That was a view expressed by HSE West management at a tele-conference meeting held earlier this week with Mayo TDs and councillors, according to the Cathaoirleach of Castlebar Municipal District Michael Kilcoyne who took part in the meeting.

    Cllr Kilcoyne has for weeks now, been highlighting concerns over the high incidents of confirmed Covid 19 cases in Mayo compared to other Connaught counties, particularly county Galway with a much higher population.

    The Cathaoirleach also raised his concern that six weeks into the government Covid-19 lockdown, some patients at Mayo University Hospital are still being treated in 6-bedded wards, where maintaining 2 metre social distancing between patients is not realistic.

    He sought specific information from HSE management on the number of new staff that have been hired by the HSE at Mayo University Hospital since the pandemic broke, information on the numbers and frequency of staff dealing with Covid-19 patients that are being tested themselves for the virus, the shower facilities at the hospital for staff dealing with Covid-19 patients, and the number of deaths in the hospital where the patients have tested positive for the virus.

    HSE management failed to provide any of the answers to these specific questions on Wednesday and assured the Cathaoirleach they will come back with answers.

    Speaking to Midwest News today the Independent councillor began by outlining reasons, Hospital management offered as to why there are so many more cases of people in Mayo with confirmed Covid 19, relative to Galway.


  • The HSE says it's planning to test a lot more people for coronavirus as the number of cases in Ireland rises.


    20 new cases in the Republic were confirmed last night, including two of community transmission and four healthcare workers.


    It brings the total to 90.


    The Department of Foreign Affairs is advising people to exercise "high degree of caution" in going to any EU member state.


    In a tweet last night, Tanaiste Simon Coveney however said that his advice does NOT include the UK


    From today, Donald Trump's plan to exclude people from 26 mainland nations in Europe comes into effect.


    Currently Ireland and the UK are not on the list of countries included.


    But yesterday the US president indicated that in light of an escalation in the number of reported cases, the ban could be extended to include the UK.

  • It could take up to two years to clear the backlog of elective surgeries which were cancelled due to Covid-19.

    New research from the University of Birmingham says 28 million surgeries worldwide could be cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic.

    There's currently a backlog of over 16,400 postponed surgeries in Irish hospitals.

    Stephen McMahon, from the Irish Patients Association says the figure could be higher.

  • Following the suspension of all activity at club, inter-county and educational levels during Covid-19, the LGFA management committee have decided to cancel the 2020 Lidl national leagues, which means the competition will not be completed in 2020.

    Also cancelled are the teams of the league, the HEC O'Connor Cup, post-primary school competitions, U14 competitions and interprovincials, as well as the Feile na nÓg and Feile skills competitions.

    The TG4 championship will be reviewed on an ongoing basis in line with Government guidelines, while there is a possibility of provincial action in the U16 and Minor Championships, when LGFA activities resume.