Covid 19

  • Entire schools may not need to close if there's an outbreak of COVID in the classroom under the government's new back to school plan.

    Outbreaks will be handled individually by a COVID officer within the school following public health guidelines.

    Children from junior infants to second class won't have to observe social distancing and all others will have to be spaced a metre from their classmates.

    375 million euro in funding has been made available including money to recruit more than 1,000 teachers to reduce class sizes.

    Money has also been made available for minor works for schools to adapt their classrooms to allow capacity.

    Taoiseach Michael Martin says it's a major logistical challenge.

  • People will be allowed to travel anywhere within their county under a further easing of lockdown measures from Monday.

    It goes beyond the planned extension of movement to 20 kilometres.

    Cabinet Ministers met this morning and approved new measures to take effect from Monday that will allow people to move anywhere within their own counties.

    The original plan for phase two was that people would be allowed to move 20 kilometres away from their homes.

    But there was concern that for people in more isolated rural areas that would mean little change from the last phase.

    It's understood the government has also approved scrapping the movement limit entirely from the end of June.

    While there has been proposals to examine opening pubs and hotels earlier than planned in order to allow them to try to make some benefit of the summer season.

    Those are among the major deviations from the roadmap plan originally announced.

    People will be allowed to go into each other's homes from Monday in small, socially distanced groups.

    It's expected playgrounds will re-open - and that there will be announcements on summer camps and visitation to nursing homes.

    A full announcement on the roadmap will come this afternoon.

  • The government has warned the country is at a 'tipping point' as new restrictions come into effect to tackle the spread of Covid-19.

    Public transport should now be avoided where possible and those over 70 are being asked to restrict their social circles.

    Visitors into homes are now limited to six people from three households while outdoor gatherings of no more than 15 are allowed.

    Gardaí are also to be given greater powers to enforce the rules.

    All measures are to remain in effect until September 13th and come as 190 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed.

    There are no new cases of the virus in Connacht.

  • Older and vulnerable people will be told to limit their time outdoors again, while indoor family gatherings will be reduced to just six.

    They're among the measures NPHET is recommending to the Government to combat a recent upsurge in Covid-19 cases.

    It comes as a further 56 cases were confirmed yesterday evening - which includes one further case in Co Galway.

    According to the Irish Independent, NPHET is recommended that older people should once again restrict their movements and avoid large gatherings.

    It's suggesting that the numbers permitted in a home are reduced to six to clamp down on house parties, while outdoor home gatherings should be cut to 15.

    It's also advising that people who can work from home should do so for the coming weeks.

    It comes as 56 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed yesterday, with 322 cases identified since Saturday.

    18 people are currently being treated in hospitals for the virus, with eight confirmed cases in ICUs.


  • General Practitioners are reminding the public that you can still organise a Covid-19 test even though it's a bank holiday.

    Out of hours services are in operation throughout the weekend, and will engage with patients over the phone.

    While those who aren't sure who to contact can call their local general hospital for advice.

    The Department of Health's latest figures show an additional 45 cases of the virus in the Republic.

    There are seven new confirmed cases in Mayo

    Of the new cases reported yesterday, 77 per cent are under 45 years of age, with half aged between 25 and 44.

    18 of the new cases are associated with outbreaks or close contacts of a confirmed case.

    Dr. Ray Walley from the HSE's GP Advisory Committee says anyone who has symptoms must isolate first.

  • Half of accounts who got a mortgage payment break due to Covid-19 are still on the scheme.

    In total around 86,000 people had take up the opportunity since the beginning of the pandemic, with 43,000 accounts still benefiting from the payment break from their mortgage.

    The Banking and Payments Federation say of those who have been taken off the scheme, 90 percent have started making full repayments on the loan.

    It was first introduced in March for three months, however it was extended to six months.

  • A leading public health expert's warning Ireland's facing an alarming number of Covid-19 cases in the Autumn unless the government changes its strategy of containing the virus.

    200 coronavirus cases were recorded here yesterday, the largest increase since May.

    The Acting Chief Medical Officer's warning there's now multiple clusters with a secondary spread in many parts of the country.

    The government's appealing to people to redouble their efforts to tackle the spread of the disease.

    However, Professor Ivan Perry, says implementing a zero covid strategy, similar to that in New Zealand, could eliminate the virus from our shores in six weeks.

  • The acting chief medical officer's pleading with the public to make 'difficult decisions' to prevent a number of Covid-19 deaths this winter.

    Dr Ronan Glynn says 'public buy-in' to health guidance is the main defence against the spread of the virus.

    He says people shouldn't even meet family members, or go to work or college, if they're a close contact of a case.

    Another 363 coronavirus infections were confirmed yesterday, and one more death.

    There were 15 new cases in Roscommon, 14 in Galway and five in Mayo.

    The Health Minister meanwhile and the acting chief medical officer will appear before the Oireachtas Covid-19 committee this morning.

    Stephen Donnelly and Dr Ronan Glynn will face questions on the state's plan for living with the virus.

    Professor Philip Nolan and Dr Cillian de Gascun, who are senior members of NPHET, will join the meeting via video link.

  • Health officials will meet today amid growing concerns over the rise in coronavirus cases in a number of counties.


    The National Public Health Emergency Team is particularly concerned about Louth, Waterford and Donegal - where a third of recent cases are among 15 to 24 year olds.


    30 of yesterday's 234 cases were in Donegal, and a further two deaths were recorded nationally.


    There were also 22 new cases of the virus recorded in Galway.


    Acting Chief Medical Officer Ronan Glynn says we should all choose a small number of people to socialise with in the coming weeks.

  • Health officials will meet today to discuss the 'very concerning' rise of Covid-19 cases, particularly in Dublin and Limerick.

    It's claimed the numbers contracting Covid-19 in the capital could double every two weeks if the current trends continue.

    The Acting Chief Medical Officer has urged people to limit their social contacts, and to stop family gatherings such as communions and christenings in private households.

    Dr Ronan Glynn says the current rise nationally as well as in Dublin will be on the agenda for today's meeting.

  • 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.

  • An infectious diseases expert says the outbreaks of Covid-19 in households are more concerning than those in meat factories.

    There have been 26 clusters in meat processing plants, and nearly 450 cases since the start of August.

    There are also 252 active outbreaks related to social gatherings in private households. 

    Professor Sam McConkey, from the RCSI, says that's the bigger concern at the moment.

  • An infectious diseases specialist says schools and creches should reopen as a matter of urgency.

    The National Public Health Emergency Team met again this morning to discuss the road map of lifting Covid-19 restrictions.

    Hairdressers and barbers reopening were up for discussion, along with guidelines for weddings.

    However, Professor Sam McConkey believes that children's education should be a priority.

  • Ireland West Airport has confirmed a 30% reduction in staff levels as a direct result of Covid-19.

    The Managing Director of the Knock based Airport Joe Gilmore told Midwest Radio today that it’s an extremely difficult time for all concerned with so many new realities facing the aviation industry at present.

    The restart of flight operations will commence at the airport from Wednesday July 1st with ten routes flying from Ryanair.

    Mr Gilmore says the safety of passengers and staff will be a key priority once the airport reopens.

  • 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.

  • The players and staff at Bohemians, Derry City, Dundalk and Shamrock Rovers will undergo another round of COVID-19 screening next Monday.

    There were no positive results from the first round of screening, which took place earlier this week.

    It's hoped those four European qualified clubs can resume training on June the 8th.

  • There has been a fourfold increase in the numbers hospitalised nationally with Covid-19  in the past month, while the numbers in ICU has more than doubled.

    The head of the HSE, Paul Reid, says the figures showing 90 people now in hospital and 19 in ICU is a "very concerning trend".

    Another 188 cases of Covid-19 were reported yesterday, including 25 in Cork, 21 in Donegal and 16 in Kildare.

    There 13 confirmed cases in county Galway yesterday and seven in county Roscommon

    There were no new cases in county Mayo yesterday. 2 additional covid cases confirmed in county Leitrim bringing the total number of cases there to 113.

    According to a new Department of Health survey, 52 per cent of the population   favour of more restrictions being introduced.

    The concerns of health officials are not just focused on the capital. There are worrying trends now being monitored in Louth, Offaly, Kildare, Wicklow, Waterford, Limerick, Leitrim and Donegal.


  • 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.






  • The Michael Walsh Intermediate League meeting of Louisburgh and Balla didn’t go ahead yesterday evening due to concerns related to a confirmed case of Covid-19 in the Louisburgh area.

    Louisburgh confirmed this news in a statement last night after Balla GAA issued a statement earlier in the day.

    “Louisburgh GAA acknowledges that we acted in an overly cautious way going beyond protocols with the best interests at heart of the two clubs: Louisburgh and Balla. Unfortunately, this resulted in the game not being played.”

    “On learning of a confirmed case of COVID in the Louisburgh region, we acted with extreme caution. We wish the patient a speedy recovery. We will be following the protocols in place set down by the HSE and the GAA going forward as we navigate these challenging times.”

    The club added they have suspended activities to allow time for necessary actions regarding contact tracing to conclude.

    “We look forward to progressing with fixtures for the community and getting back to normal activity in the coming days working with the GAA community,” the statement concluded.