Covid 19

  • A further three people with Covid 19 have died in the Republic, and there are six new confirmed cases.

    The death toll now stands at 1,738 and the total number of cases is 25,477.

    The National Public Health Emergency Team says 31 new coronavirus cases linked to travel were confirmed in June.

    Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan says the advice remains for people to avoid non-essential travel.

  • A record 1,276 new cases of Covid 19 have been confirmed in the Republic and there are 8 more deaths.

    278 cases are in Dublin, with 149 in Cork, 108 in Meath, 107 in Galway, 80 in Wexford, and the remaining cases are spread across 21 counties.

    There are 16 new cases in Mayo, 15 in Sligo, nine in Roscommon and less than five in Leitrim.

    The highest 14 day incidence rate for the virus is in Cavan with 758.8 per 100 thousand population.

    260 Covid-19 patients are being treated in hospital, of which 30 are in ICU and there've been 12 new hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

  • It has been announced today, that the Achill Community Covid Response Team has been awarded a prestigious Volunteer Ireland Award accompanied by a letter of acknowledgement from Michael D Higgings, the President of Ireland. 

    The award is a reflection of how the community of Achill has been working together since the beginning of the pandemic in March of this year.

    Achill Tourism accepted the award on behalf of everyone involved and extended a sincere thanks to the local GP’s, Local Link, The Civil Defence and each and every volunteer, including TY students from Coláiste Pobal Acla, who has helped with this fantastic initiative.

    Achill Tourism staff and the team of volunteers have been on hand to help people in any way possible; to do shopping, pick up prescriptions, arrange safe travel for hospital visits or anything else to help out those at risk.

    This is the second award received by the team with the Bank of Ireland “Begin Together” Community Award received earlier this year.

    Chris McCarthy, Manager at Achill Tourism says it’s been a collective effort from everyone in the community.

  • We're being asked to rethink our plans this weekend -- and socialise with a closer circle of friends.

    The Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn made the call after 159 more cases of Covid-19 were discovered across Ireland.

    Two more people infected with the virus were reported dead.

    75 of yesterday's positive tests were in Dublin -- with 10 in Louth, six each in Cork, Donegal and Meath, and five each and Laois and Wexford.

    The remaining 46 are spread across 17 different counties, including Mayo, Galway, Roscommon and Leitrim.

    Professor Sam McConkey at the Royal College of Surgeons says there are still ways to make connections with the people we love -- and it doesn't have to be through a laptop.

  • Garda Chief Supt in Mayo Tony Healy is asking the public to follow the restrictions imposed under Level 5 of the Plan for Living with Covid-19 amid rising numbers in Mayo and across the country. He said, “An Garda Síochána has also introduced a range of additional measures to support the Government’s Level 5 Plan for Living with COVID-19 as announced on Wednesday. These measures include additional static checkpoints on national routes under Operation Fanacht, continued engagement and high-visibility patrolling in public areas such as parks, beaches and other recreational areas.

     “COVID-19 is in our communities, and a community effort is needed now more than ever to suppress this virus and to bring it back under control. We are asking people to stay at home unless such journeys are essential. Reduce your contacts to the bare minimum. Maintain social distancing when in company. Continue regular handwashing. The COVID-19 pandemic remains a real threat to every one of us and particularly the most vulnerable in our society. By taking these steps, we can help protect our loves ones, our neighbours, and our communities.

    As a community based police service, Gardaí in Mayo will continue to maintain personal interactions and where needed we will continue to assist and support people. Local Gardaí are here to help. Whether that entails collecting prescription, or fuel, or providing a socially distanced chat. If you or someone you know requires assistance please do not hesitate to contact your local Garda station"


    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:

  • All pubs could be allowed to reopen by the middle of this month.

    The move's set to coincide with the release of the government's new long-term strategy for dealing with Covid-19.

    The government's currently finalising a new set of guidelines on the reopening of all pubs that will include strict regulation and inspection.

    According to the Irish Times, details will be shared with industry representatives over the coming days, with a view to having all pubs operating again by mid-September.

    The move's set to coincide Awith the government's own 'living with Covid' plan which is to be announced in nine days time.

    Meanwhile the Taoiseach says new rules requiring pubs and restaurants to keep a record of food orders for 28 days will protect law-abiding businesses.

    It follows criticism of the measure by pub owners.

    Micheál Martin insists Government has no interest in knowing what people are eating, and there's been an "overreaction" to the new rule.

  • A raffle last night for a holiday cottage in County Mayo to raise funds for healthcare workers has been won by a woman living in Dublin.


    The couple who own the home near Foxford which raised close to €1 million in the raffle described the level of interest as “unreal”.


    A Canada-based Irish couple, who are both Covid-19 survivors, decided in June to raffle their house because they wanted to give something back after surviving the virus.


    The Irish Times is reporting that the decision to raise money for healthcare support workers sprang from a combination of their own recent experience of the virus, seeing friends and family around them affected by cancer, and a lifelong belief that support staff in hospitals do not get the recognition they deserve.


    The tickets cost €10 and the money rolled in for weeks and quickly surpassed the couple’s initial target of €250,000.


    The 150-year-old cottage, on the Mayo side of the Ox Mountains, had been placed on the market through local agent CK Auctioneers earlier this year and attracted offers of up to €90,000.


    In a statement on its website this morning CK Auctioneers said the “winner of the cottage is a Dublin lady. Under GDPR we are awaiting permission from winner to publish their name.”

  • The HSE plan to take emergency control of up to 30 percent of private hospital capacity could come into effect within days.

    Under the terms of the contract, seen by the Business Post, it could be triggered if key indicators, such as an ICU number of more than 130, are met.

    1,421 people with Covid-19 are in hospital this morning - up 136 since yesterday - while 120 are in intensive care.

    In a worst case scenario, the HSE has warned admissions could reach 2,500 in hospital and 400 in ICUs by the middle of this month.

    Margaret Harris from the World Health Organisation says Ireland's paying the price for allowing Christmas gatherings.

  • Almost all frontline Health Care workers in the Saolta Hospital group have now been vaccinated against Covid 19, and the remaining staff, just over 1000 people, will be vaccinated by the end of this month.

    The group has responsibility for hospitals across the west and north west region.

    These numbers were confirmed this afternoon by CEO of the Saolta group, Tony Canavan.

    Mr Canavan addressed today’s virtual HSE West Forum meeting.

  • No covid-19 patients were reported to have died in the Republic yesterday for the first day since March,  while 18 further cases were confirmed here.

    There was one additional confirmed case in Mayo, bring the number of cases in the county to 572. There was no increase in confirmed cases in the other four counties of Connaught.

    It's emerged Ireland had more deaths than in a normal year in March and April -- but the Chief Medical Officer says that trend stopped in May.

    He was responding to analysis published by the Business Post at the weekend based on death notices.

    It argued Ireland's "excess deaths" up to the start of May were higher than in other European countries.

    But Dr Tony Holohan says the elevated death rate here hasn't lingered the same way.

  • Another nine people have died with Covid-19, and there are 522 new cases.

    280 are in Dublin, with 28 in Meath, 28 in Kildare, 26 in Cork and 19 in Donegal and the remaining 141 cases are spread across 19 other counties.

    In this region there are 13 new cases in Galway, seven in Sligo, six in Mayo, less than five in Roscommon and no new cases in Leitrim.

    There are 426 patients in hospital with the virus and 102 in intensive care.

    The 14-day incidence rate has dropped to 185 per 100,000 people - which is the lowest since Chrismas Eve.

  • People will be getting Christmas cards and parcels delivered throughout January. 


    An Post says the number of international flights continues to be severely impacted by the Covid-19 crisis, with only limited space available for letters and packages.


    As a result many items posted in Ireland and abroad in December are still in transit through airports and sea ports. 


  • A number of pupils at a west Dublin primary school have been sent home after a positive case of Covid 19 was confirmed.

    The student who tested positive and a number of close contacts have been advised to self-isolate.

    The local education board says remote lessons for them will be provided and the school continues to operate fully.

    It's the second confirmed case of coronavirus linked to a school since classes returned.

    Yesterday, a Dublin primary school sent an entire class home as a precaution, after one student tested positive.

  • There has been another confirmed case of Covid-19 in an East Mayo School.

    Parents of children deemed to be close contacts have been contacted and given advice.

    In a letter from the HSE, parents were advised that children who are not close contacts do not require testing and can continue to attend school.

    This is the second confirmed case in a Mayo School.

    It comes after there were 263 new cases of the virus announced yesterday evening which includes 14 new cases in Galway and nine in Mayo.

  • The report sought last month from the CE of the HSE by the then Minister for Health Simon Harris on the Covid-19 measures taken at Mayo University Hospital  from the outset of the Covid pandemic, now needs to be published, according to Aontu leader Peadar Toibin.

    According to documents released under the Freedom of Information Act to Mr Toibin  it is claimed that a cancer patient suffering the side effects of chemotherapy was placed in a Covid-19 ward at Mayo University Hospital.

    In details of the complaint, lodged by a relative of the patient, it is claimed that the man, who is an oncology patient, arrived at the ED OF Mayo University Hospital on May 1st ,  and was admitted to a Covid-19 ward where there were five Covid-19 patients.

    He had according to the complaint "arrived at the hospital as a very vulnerable patient with a very serious underlying illness and a compromised immune system". He was not displaying any Covid-19 symptoms”.

    The complainant, lodged on May 4th, alleges that the man was moved into an isolation ward later that same evening. However, by that time he had already been according to the complaint, "exposed to the coronavirus, unprotected, for an extended period of time".

    Mr Toibin told Midwest News today the report on what measures have been in place since the start of the pandemic to segregate Covid and non Covid patients at MUH is now needed to ensure people in this region have confidence to attend the hospital.

  • Parents should be able to take paid leave if their child's school or class is closed due to an outbreak of covid-19.

    The Labour Party has launched a new bill today proposing the right for parents to take paid "force majeure" leave in such a scenario.

    Party leader Alan Kelly says they shouldn't be left out of pocket while schools or classes are shut down.

    A Dublin primary school has sent home a class of students after one child tested positive for Covid 19.

    The South Dublin school confirmed 30 students have been sent home as a precaution.

    The school confirmed the news this morning, four days back in the classroom.

    The decision to close was taken based on public health advice after one child tested positive for Covid 19.

    The school says the pupil did not contract the virus through transmission on the premises.

    Almost 500 students attend the school in 18 classes - however only the affected class has been sent home.



  • Donegal will enter level three Covid-19 restrictions from midnight tonight.

    Businesses in the county were given a little more than 24 hours to prepare for the change.

    It will be the same restrictions as are in Dublin - including a ban on indoor dining.

    However, pubs that don't serve food will be allowed to open with outdoor service only.

    Acting Chief Medical Officer, Ronan Glynn, says a high spread of Covid-19 in Derry has had an impact on Donegal:

    The 14-day incidence rate of Covid-19 in one area in Donegal is the highest in the country.

    The rate in Stranorlar is 336 per 100,000 population, which the Taoiseach says is particularly concerning.

    Dr Denis McCauley is a GP in the town - he says the current rate is alarming.

    The Taoiseach Micheal Martin warned last night of similar measures in other counties and cities where the incidence rate is  rising. “To be honest”, he said,  we could have similar announcements for other areas in the coming week, if the numbers keep rising”.

    Dr Glynn specifically warned of possible escalations in other counties urging people in Galway, Wicklow, Kildare, Waterford, Cork and Louth to pay particular attention to public health advice.


  • One of the country's largest teacher unions is hopeful schools closing will have an impact on getting the spread of Covid-19 under control.

    The Christmas holidays have been extended until January 11th.

    Ann Piggot, President of the ASTI said young people could be more easily infected by the new strain of the virus.

  • 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.