Covid 19


    The number of people sick and dying due to Covid-19 in the Belmullet local electoral area is "immense", according to one GP.

    Latest data shows the area in county Mayo has the highest 14-day incidence rate in the country for the second week in a row, with one in 18 people testing positive for Covid-19 in the past fortnight.

    Dr. Keith Swanick says the situation is still very serious in the Erris area and is calling for people to double down on their efforts in the fight against Covid-19.

    He says his workload has increased significantly in recent days as his colleague Dr. Fergal Ruane has contracted the virus and now is unable to work.

    Dr Keith Swanick says the past few weeks have been horrendous in the Erris area and is calling for people to think twice and make the effort.


  • The Michael Walsh Senior League game between Garrymore and Bohola Moy Davitts didn’t go ahead this afternoon as a player felt symptoms of Covid-19 during the warm-up.

    Bohola Moy Davitts have since confirmed this evening that the player in question has been tested and has reported a negative result.

    The club say they acted in the best interests of all involved and followed guidelines to ensure the safety of others.

    Moy Davitts have thanked Garrymore for their understanding on the matter and the way their covid supervisors dealt with the situation.

    The club went on to say that they apologise for any distress caused as a results of the situation and look forward to resuming activities this week.

  • Businesses involved in the tourism and hospitality industry are being urged to apply for new grants of up to €15,000 to offset some of the costs they incurred in adapting their premises to meet Covid-19 restrictions.

    Fáilte Ireland has launched a €26 million Covid-19 Adaptation Fund, after funding was secured as part of the Government's July Stimulus Package.

    Applications for the new grants are now open, and will remain open until 8th October.

    The amount of funding a business will receive will be determined by its size, and the type of costs incurred for structural adaptations.

    Sligo-Leitrim FG TD Frank Feighan is urging businesses across the West to apply for the grants.

  • New restrictions have been unveiled by the Government to contain the spread of Covid 19 and will remain in place until at least the end of January.

    All schools are to remain closed, with an exception for leaving cert students, who will attend classes three days a week.

    Special  education should remain open with protections in place.

    While childcare services will close generally, they can remain open for vulnerable children and children of frontline workers.

    All construction, with some exceptions must cease until January 31st.

    Announcing the measures, Taoiseach Michael Martin says the challenge facing Irish people is stark.

  • 269 new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed along with one more death.

    Today marks the first time since mid-December that case numbers have fallen below 300.

    181 patients are currently in hospital with the virus, of which 47 are in ICU.

    The 5-day moving average of cases now stands at 369.

  •  5 additional deaths related to COVID-19 have been reported this evening in the Republic.

    As of midnight last night (Sunday) 456 new confirmed cases of the virus have been reported.

    Of the cases notified today 105 are in Dublin, 85 in Limerick, 43 in Cork, 38 in Meath, 25 in Clare and the remaining 160 cases are spread across 21 other counties.

  • A number of residents and staff at a nursing home in south Galway have tested positive for Covid-19.

    The Health Service Executive has confirmed the outbreak.

    In a statement, it said it is working with the facility to support management in delivering care to the residents.

    It continued: "Public Health HSE West are conducting a daily outbreak teleconference with the facility and Community Healthcare West."

  • 748 tests for Covid-19 were carried out at Mayo University Hospital between 25th May and 14th June.

    The figures were given by the HSE at yesterday's online meeting of the Regional Health Forum in response to queries from Castlebar Councillor Michael Kilcoyne.

    Over the same 3 week period, almost 700 Covid-19 tests were carried out in the community in Co Mayo.

    571 of the Mayo tests were positive.

    However, Councillor Kilcoyne was informed that Covid-19 tests are not available on demand from people concerned about caring for elderly or vulnerable people - they must be referred by a GP.

    Councillor Kilcoyne had also asked about the total number of people who died at Mayo University Hospital and other HSE healthcare facilities in Co Mayo since the start of the pandemic - but was told that this information could not be provided.

    Councillor Kilcoyne told Midwest News this evening that it was more a case of the Saolta Hospital Group refusing to provide the figures.

  • 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.

  • As Covid-19 spreads rapidly throughout every village, town and parish in Mayo, we must double down in our efforts as a response to the growing tide of confirmed cases in the county.

    That's the message from Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council Richard Finn.

    Every person, no matter what age, or how healthy they may feel, should behave like they have the virus and stay at home in order to protect one another and the ones we love.

    Cathaoirleach Finn says he is speaking on behalf of all the elected members of the Council in appealing to Mayo people, please stay at home.

    He says there are a very limited number of beds in Mayo General’s ICU, each one of us would like to think that there would be a bed available should a loved one of ours require it, let that motivate each and everyone of us to make the changes that will keep the virus at bay and that is to STAY AT HOME.

    You’re not just protecting yourself and your family, but you are protecting the most vulnerable in your community.

  • At the start of today’s monthly meeting of Mayo County Council, the Cathaoirleach, cllr Richard Finn expressed his and his colleagues condolences with anyone in the county grieving the loss of a loved one through Covid 19.

    He complimented the “trojan work” of health care and front line staff in the region throughout the pandemic.

    He explained that Mayo County Council services are mainly available online and that outdoor staff are working reduced hours, in accordance with government guidelines, and only essential services can be provided in these circumstances in terms of outdoor works.

    The public is urged to protect themselves and others from the virus and adhere to the Level 5 Restrictions in place until March 5th.

    The CEO of MCC Peter Duggan also reminded anyone who needs assistance during this lockdown to contact the Community Call Helpline on 094 9064660.

  • One Local Electoral Area in Co Donegal has a 14-day incidence rate for Covid-19 that's over nine times the national average.

    In the two-week period that ended on Monday, Carndonagh LEA's rate was 796 per 100,000 poeple - compared to the Republic's rate of 85.

    The Claremorris LEA in Co Mayo was the second worst in Ireland, at 409.

    The third highest was Muinebeag in Co Carlow, followed by Castlecomer in Co Kilkenny - they both had rates of over 300.

  • One additional death related to COVID-19 has been reported this evening in the Republic.

    As of midnight last night (Wednesday) 395 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported.

    Of these 132 occurred in Dublin, 31 in Cork, 27 in Donegal, 27 in Limerick, 27 in Galway and the remaining 151 cases are spread across 18 other counties.

  • Close to 700 people have been tested in Ballinasloe in the pop-up Covid-19 test centre, that opened last Friday and runs until this afternoon.

    It was set up because there was concern about incident rates of the virus in the community.

    Ballinasloe-based Senator, Aisling Dolan  told Midwest News this afternoon that she went along on Friday morning to the Townhall car park and did the test within 10 minutes and the results were back by text to her phone within a day, adding she was delighted to know it was negative.

    This pop-up test centre was set up for anyone over 16, had no any symptoms of the virus. In Ballinasloe the catchment area was a 15 kilometre radius.

  • 26 more people have died from Covid-19 with 988 new cases of the virus confirmed.

    378 in Dublin, 68 in Galway, 61 in Kildare, 47 in Limerick, 45 in Louth and the remaining 389 cases are spread across all other counties.

    In this region there are 34 new cases in Mayo, seven in Roscommon and less than five in both Sligo & Leitrim.

    As of 8am today, 719 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 149 are in ICU.

    There has been 36 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

  • There have been no new deaths reported to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre today.

    As of midnight last night, the HPSC has been notified of 98 confirmed cases of COVID-19. 

  • A medical technology company based out of NUI Galway has developed a non-toxic Covid-killing spray.

    Aquila Bioscience says it's free of harmful chemicals, so is safe to use regularly on a person's skin.

    Production is mainly manual, with availability limited to front line workers at first.

  • 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...

  • Connacht say they’re assisting an academy player who has tested positive for COVID-19.

    The unnamed player was a close contact of a positive case, and he’s been self-isolating since Wednesday.

    All other tests at the province of players and staff returned negative.

  • The contractor of the National Broadband Plan says it could be rolled out across the country within four years - instead of seven.

    The scheme aims to connect more than 500,000 homes to high speed fibre internet.

    Works on the 2.9 billion euro project were continuing throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

    The Business Post reports that David McCourt has said there is a plan being put in place to finish the project in 60 percent of the agreed timeframe.

    Earlier this week it emerged that new rural homes would have to pay up to 5,000 euro to connect to the scheme, with Kerry TD Michael Healy Rae saying it was another attempt to drive people out of rural Ireland.

    The plan been dogged by delays and controversies over the years