Covid 19

  • 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. 

  • 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 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

  • 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 HSE's mass testing of staff in meat plants and food processing facilities has been suspended.

    It began two weeks ago and since then, 40 positive cases have been identified.

    But the HSE says demand for testing in the community has trebled since Monday, and resources are being re-directed.

    It says serial testing in the plants will resume next week, but Siptu's Greg Ennis says that's unacceptable.

  • A new system of COVID restrictions will come into place across the country from midnight.

    The priority from the government will be to keep schools open in as many circumstances as possible.

    Five levels of restrictions will be announced that can be applied in different counties.

    The cabinet meeting to approve the rules has just finished up (10.50am) and an announcement is expected in the next hour.

    Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has said this will provide a clear roadmap for the next nine months:

  • Direct payments to farmers selected for an inspection by the Department of Agriculture will not encounter payment delays this year.

    That's according to IFA Deputy President Brian Rushe who says the Department has confirmed that they have now secured flexibility from the EU Commission to make payments on inspection cases where they are not fully complete.

    He said in previous years it was most frustrating and unsatisfactory that many farmers who were selected for inspection incurred payment delays.

    Mr. Rushe says with over 129,000 farmers making a Basic Payment application across all the schemes and the severe income problems from the COVID-19 crisis this year, it is absolutely essential that all farmers are paid on time.


    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 need for primary school children to have regular PE classes this academic year, as schools are re-opening in a Covid 19 regulated environment is very important according to education experts.

    While significant adaptations need to be made by teachers and schools to ensure that this vital piece of the curriculum is retained, nonetheless, the Co-Chairs of the Irish Primary PE Association Susan Marron and Caitriona Cosgrave believe that the subject can be successfully re-introduced with many other changes for students, returning to school over the next number of days.

    The DES, the dept of Education and Science, is providing safety advice to schools about new measures required for the safe re-opening of schools in a Covid regulated era.

    The Co-Chairs of the Irish Primary PE Association, lecturer in DCU’s School of Arts, Education and Movement  - Susan Marron and primary school teacher- Caitriona Cosgrave told Midwest News today that its essential that PE classes are retained and that limited equipment can be safely used and sanitized in schools.

    They said that while some schools may have converted the PE hall to a classroom to accommodate a large class under covid regulations, many school principals have resisted the temptation to do so, in light of the importance of physical education  in schools.


    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

  • Mandatory face coverings in all retail settings comes into force from tomorrow.

    Children under the age of 13 and people who can't wear one due to a physical or mental illness are exempt.

    As part of the measures, the government has launched a new campaign to encourage safe behaviours around COVID-19.

  • 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.

  • Five more people have died with Covid-19, while 69 new cases have been detected in the Republic.

    It brings the total number in the country to 26,372 while there has been 1,768 deaths.

    Four of the deaths announced today, happened in previous months.

    Northern Ireland reported 43 cases earlier, meaning there have been 112 cases on the island today.

    Out of the 69 cases, 65% are under 45 years of age.

    22 cases are located in Offaly, 19 in Kildare, 8 in Laois, 6 in Dublin, and 14 are spread across eight other counties (Clare, Cork, Donegal, Galway, Limerick, Louth, Meath and Wexford).

  • A leading health expert claims it will be impossible to significantly reduce the number of Covid-19 cases without a lockdown.

    It's after 357 cases were confirmed in the Republic yesterday, along with three more deaths.

    It was the biggest daily increase in cases since May, with 208 recorded on Monday.

    There are five new cases in both Mayo and Roscommon, while there are also new cases in Galway, Sligo & Leitrim. 

    There have nine new cases of Covid-19 in Mayo since Sunday with the figure in the county since the outbreak began standing at 611. It is the biggest two-day spike in cases in Mayo since last May.

    Eoghan de Barra, a consultant in infectious diseases in Beaumont Hospital, is calling on the public to be vigilant.

  • 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 Department of Health has announced four more people have died as a result of Covid - 19 here. 

    There has been a further 98 confirmed cases.  This means 1,772 people have died as a result of the virus and the total number of confirmed cases is 26,470.

    Of the cases notified today 35 are located in Kildare and 26 in Offaly, 6 in Wexford, 5 in Laois, 5 in Dublin, and 21 are spread across ten other counties (Carlow, Cavan, Donegal, Kilkenny, Limerick, Louth, Meath, Monaghan, Westmeath and Wicklow).

    There are no new confirmed cases in Connacht.

  • The GAA has called for evidence to be presented to explain the Government's decision to ban all spectators from sporting events until at least the 13th of September.

    Up until now 200 people were allowed be part of an outdoor sporting event, which meant that a small number of GAA supporters could attend matches.

    Matches are back behind closed doors, and outdoor training is limited to groups of no more than fifteen.

    The GAA have invited Acting Chief Medical Officer Ronan Glynn and NPHET to meet with their COVID-19 Advisory Group as soon as possible.

  • The GAA has welcomed the Government's 70-million relief package for Irish sport.

    40-million of that will be made available to the GAA, the IRFU and the FAI collectively.

    The GAA are spending this weekend discussing how the Government's sped-up COVID-19 roadmap impacts on their own.

  • Galway is the only Connaught county that reported any new confirmed cases of Covid 19 yesterday.

    Nationally 240 new cases of the virus were confirmed, with half of those cases occurring in Dublin.

    One person with the virus died.

    The cabinet is expected to approve moving Dublin to level three Covid-19 restrictions this evening.

    Some additional restrictions are expected on top of the level three guidelines.

    This morning the cabinet sub-committee on COVID will meet to consider the advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team to escalate restrictions in Dublin.

    The capital will be moved to level three on the new roadmap, with an expectation there may be some additional measures.

    Under level three pubs that don't serve food are allowed to open, but they will remain shut in Dublin.

    People won't be allowed to leave the county unless it's for work, education or other essential reasons.

    It's expected to be similar restrictions on anyone entering Dublin.

    The amount of people attending weddings and funerals will be reduced to 25.

    Religious services like Mass will move online.

    Visitors from one other household only will be allowed in your home or garden.

    No organised indoor gatherings can take place - and all matches will be cancelled with the exception of professional sport and senior GAA intercounty or club games.

    Non-contact training can continue in pods of less than 15.

    There will be further restrictions on hotels, bars and restaurants and people will be advised to work from home.

    The official announcement won't come until this evening, with the regulations expected to take effect from midnight.