NPHET recommends entire country move to Level 5

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Galway daily news Just 13 COVID patients hospitalised in Galway

NPHET is recommending that the entire country be put to Level 5 restrictions for a period of six weeks after an alarming rise in COVID-19 cases in recent days.

The Irish Times reports that NPHET made the recommendation to go to Level 5 to the government after a meeting on Thursday.

Galway is currently at Level 3 along with most of the country, with additional restrictions on household visits, while counties Cavan, Monaghan, and Donegal are at Level 4.

Yesterday there were 97 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Galway, the largest single day increase seen in the county since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, out of 1,205 cases nationwide.

Galway City Central has the 4th highest 14-day incidence rate of any Local Electoral Area in the country according to the latest data up to October 12.

On Thursday Prof Philip Nolan, chair of NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, warned that by the end of the month there could be as many as 2,500 daily cases.

Current trends would also see over 400 people in hospital Prof Nolan warned, where there were 241 people hospitalised with COVID-19 as of yesterday.

Dr Tony Holohan said on Thursday that “all key indicators” of COVID-19 had accelerated since the last meeting of NPHET.

“The number of hospitalisations are increasing faster than the exponential growth modelling predicted. This indicates a rapidly deteriorating disease trajectory nationally.”

Moving to Level 5 of the Plan for Living with COVID-19 would mean no social or organised gatherings, indoors or outdoors.

People would be asked to stay home, with no travel beyond 5km from your residence.

All but essential retail outlets would be closed, and pubs, cafés, and restaurants would be allowed to offer takeaway services only.

As the number of daily cases of COVID-19 continues to climb Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer at the HSE, has warned that the health service is in a very different position that it was earlier this year.

“we are trying to suppress COVID-19 while maintaining our non-COVID services and providing safe environments in our acute settings,” Dr Henry said.

“The higher the community transmission the more difficult it is to protect medically vulnerably people in all heathcare settings.”