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COVID testing up by as much as 35% in the space of a week

The amount of COVID testing carried out has increased by 35% in the space of a week. The positivi...
Michael Staines
Michael Staines

06.51 19 Oct 2021


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COVID testing up by as much as...

COVID testing up by as much as 35% in the space of a week

Michael Staines
Michael Staines

06.51 19 Oct 2021


Share this article


The amount of COVID testing carried out has increased by 35% in the space of a week.

The positivity rate of the tests carried out has also increased in recent weeks.

It comes as officials work to understand the recent rise in COVID cases and hospitalisations.

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There were 1,578 new cases announced yesterday, with the five-day moving average sitting at 1,736.

The number of patients in hospital is up by just over 20% in the past week, although the number in ICU has remained stable at 73.

The HSE's national lead for testing and tracing, Niamh O'Beirne told Newstalk more and more people are presenting for testing.

“Testing on Friday increased by 22%, testing on Saturday by 26% and on Sunday 35% versus those days in the prior week,” she said.

“The biggest number is in the age 35 to 44. They are the people who are presenting most for testing. After that, it is in the younger age groups.”

Cabinet will this morning decide whether Friday’s easing of COVID restrictions should go ahead – and it is understood the National Public Health Emergency Team is recommended the cautious approach while the recent rise in cases is investigated.

One minister last night admitted they hadn't been offered an explanation yet - suggesting proximity to the UK and waning vaccine immunity may be playing a role.

Ms O'Beirne said more results are also coming back positive.

“Positivity in the community at the moment is at 11.7% and that has increased over the last number of weeks,” she said.

“If you look back to earlier in October, that number was about 8.9% and it currently stands at 11.7%.”

The use of vaccine certs in pubs and restaurants is likely to be extended when Cabinet makes its decision this afternoon.

The use of face masks and social distancing in indoor settings and at live events like matches and gigs also look likely to remain.

The Government is also again examining a possible expanded role for antigen testing.

Reporting from Eoghan Murphy


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