Signs of improvement with decreasing positivity rate and close contacts

HSE head Paul Reid says a decline in the positivity rate of people with Covid-19 gives hope for the future.

In the past seven days, the rate of positive tests has dropped from 8.9 to 5.8 percent.

It is considered an important measure as it shows how widespread infections are in the community.

It comes when 7 more people have died from the virus and there have been 777 new cases.

Professor Rachel McLoughlin of Trinity College Dublin says the level 5 restrictions can work:

“This week the decision was made to move to Level 5 and there is a lot of controversy surrounding this decision.

“The fact remains that we are here now. We must make the necessary efforts.

“None of us want to find the lockdown situation six weeks from now, or worse, more restrictions will be put in place.”

Public Restrictions

In an early sign that public Covid-19 restrictions might work, the HSE has seen a sharp drop in the average number of close contacts of people who have become infected in recent days.

HSE data obtained from The Irish Times shows that the average number of contacts who reported a positive case after testing positive fell from five in the last week to six and to six earlier this month.

While the decline in the number of close contacts in newly infected cases is a tentative sign, it does show the potential impact of public restrictions escalated this week on the transmission of the disease.

The reduction in close contacts will help ease the pressure on the state’s contact tracing operation.

As reported on Tuesday, the HSE’s contact tracing was overwhelmed by a surge in cases last weekend. This forced Tracer to skip calls to close contacts from approximately 2,000 Covid-19 cases to avoid a backlog and days of delays in calling new daily cases for their contacts this week.

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