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COVID Deaths and Cases

From 28 February to 11 December 2020

CSO statistical release, , 11am

COVID-19 Insight Bulletins: Deaths and Cases, Series 18

Information on the people who have died from COVID-19 or have been diagnosed with the virus.

Key Findings:

  • The number of cases for the week ending 11 December was 1,694 - a decrease of 243 cases from the previous week
  • The percentage of cases in the 65-79 and 80+ age categories has been increasing in recent weeks, these age groups made up 10% of cases in the week ending 11 December up from less than 5% in week ending 10 August
  • The median age of new confirmed COVID-19 cases was 33 years old for the week ending 11 December
  • More than 20 people have died from COVID-19 in each of the last nine weeks
  • It is the sixth week in a row that Dublin had less than 1,000 weekly cases and in the week ending 11 December, Dublin accounted for 28% of all new cases
  • More than half (55%) of all confirmed cases were linked to an outbreak and 35% of cases linked to an outbreak were under 25 years old
  • Outbreaks in hospitals accounted for 14% of cases and nursing homes for 9% of cases linked to an outbreak in November and December, up from 2% and 5% of cases linked to an outbreak in September and October
  • The average mortality rate in November was 12 people per 1,000 confirmed cases, down from a peak of 74 per 1,000 in April, but higher than in recent months due to the rise in cases among older groups
  • The average hospitalisation rate in November was 64 people per 1,000 confirmed cases, down from a peak of 192 per 1,000 in March, this is higher than in recent months due to the increase in cases among older groups
  • The average ICU rate in September, October and November was five or less per 1,000 confirmed cases, down from a peak of 28 per 1,000 in March
  • The average number of contacts per positive case per week was three in the week ending 11 December, down from four contacts in early October

This is the eighteenth publication in our series of information bulletins produced by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), that aim to provide insights into those who have either died from or contracted COVID-19, by using data from the Computerised Infectious Disease Reporting (CIDR) provided to the CSO by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre and data from the HSE’s Swiftcare (A2i) and COVID Care Tracker (CCT) systems. This Bulletin covers the period from 28 February to 11 December 2020.

Referrals and Testing

There were 64,061 referrals for community testing where a valid reservation was recorded in the week ending 11 December. Referrals for testing decreased in the last week, in particular among the 45 – 64 age groups, which fell from 19,324 to 17,826 in the week ending 11 December. Some 46% of referrals were from GPs in the week ending 11 December. Analysis on referral speciality type shows that while Healthcare/ Essential worker referrals for testing have remained consistent for the last number of weeks contact testing/at risk groups and general COVID-19 testing has increased in December.

Testing numbers cannot be directly compared with referrals for community testing; there is a significant number of tests completed in hospitals as well as a time lag between referral and test completion. Several referrals also do not result in a test being completed. However, weekly testing numbers from HSE labs and hospitals show there were 78,416 tests completed in the week ending 11 December. The positivity rate in the week ending 11 December was 2.5% down from 2.6% the previous week.

Contacts

The average number of contacts per positive case per week was three in the week ending 11 December, down from four contacts per case in early October. This implies details of more than 5,000 close contacts were recorded in the week. In the 15-24 age group, the number of contacts per case was four in the week ending 11 December.

0-14 years15-24 years25-44 years45-64 years65-79 years80 years and overAll ages
02/10/20203.06.34.83.73.02.44.6
09/10/20203.05.14.43.93.02.24.2
16/10/20203.04.03.23.13.02.23.3
23/10/20202.23.53.53.23.12.13.1
30/10/20202.63.33.32.72.42.43.0
06/11/20202.53.83.53.42.42.93.3
13/11/20202.84.23.53.12.22.03.4
20/11/20202.23.73.73.32.72.33.3
27/11/20202.74.23.43.32.02.43.3
04/12/20202.73.63.62.92.12.73.1
11/12/20202.74.23.53.22.63.03.4

Confirmed Cases

For the week ending 11 December, the number of weekly cases was 1,694, a decrease of 243 from the previous week. This was the third week since the beginning of September where less than 2,000 confirmed cases were recorded. The total number of confirmed cases to date is 76,279.

Dublin accounted for more than a fifth (472) of all new cases for the week ending 11 December and it was the sixth week in a row that Dublin had less than 1,000 weekly cases since the beginning of September. Donegal was the county with the second highest number of new cases at 156 cases, for the week ending 11 December.

The median age of new confirmed COVID-19 cases was 33 years old for the week ending 11 December. The median age for all cases is 39 years old, Galway has the lowest median age at 26 while Wicklow is highest at 44.

In the week ending 11 December, 181 confirmed cases were among health care workers.

Since the start of the pandemic, some 4,267 more females were diagnosed with COVID-19 than males and more than half (55%) of all confirmed cases have been linked to an outbreak. 

The 25-44 age group still showed the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases at 24,762, however the percentage of cases in the 65-79 and 80+ age categories has been increasing in recent weeks. These age groups made up 10% of cases in the week ending 11 December up from less than 5% in week ending 07 August.

Hospitalisations

Table 6 shows weekly hospitalisations and admission to Intensive Care Units (ICU). These are dated using the epidemiological date of infection and so can be compared with confirmed cases. The peak week for admissions to hospitals was the week ending 27 March when 688 of the 3,428 cases were admitted to hospital, a further 95 of these were admitted to ICU. In comparison, of the 1,694 confirmed cases in the week ending 11 December, 57 were admitted to hospital and five people to ICU.

Figure 2 shows monthly Hospitalisation, Mortality and ICU Admission rates (per 1,000 confirmed cases). As cases in older groups have increased in recent weeks, the hospitalisation rate rose to 64 in November. The overall ICU admission rate was eight per 1,000 confirmed cases. (Note: It is important to note that there is a time lag between onset of symptoms and hospital admission. Also note that November rates are provisional).

Mortality RateHospitalisation RateICU Rate
March4819228
April7414211
May4214010
June381210
July0630
August5394
September6485
October6364
November12645
Show Table: Table A: COVID-19 Mortality, Hospitalisation and Intensive Care Unit (ICU) admission rates (per 1,000 confirmed cases) by Month

Deaths

The results produced by the CSO in Table 2 are based on the Actual Date of Death. Using this method, the CSO has found that the number of people who have died from COVID-19 has been greater than 20 for each of the last nine weeks and Dublin continues to be the worst hit.

Since the start of the pandemic, the total number of people who have died from COVID-19 in Ireland is 1,862, with a further 258 deaths cited as probable deaths linked to the virus. For the week ending 11 December, 22 deaths were recorded.

The virus claimed the lives of 88 more men than women up to and including the week ending 11 December. It also continues to impact the older age groups the hardest, with 64% of all confirmed COVID-19 deaths to date in the 80 years old or older age group.

From Table A we can see the overall mortality rate is 24 per 1,000 confirmed cases, this was highest in April at 74 per 1,000 confirmed cases. The mortality rate was 12 per 1,000 in November, up from 6 in October. (Note: These figures may need to be revised as there is a time lag between onset of symptoms and death.)

Outbreaks

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 42,163 positive COVID-19 cases linked to an outbreak, which is defined as two or more cases in the same location and time. Women account for 51% of all cases linked to an outbreak.

The median age of confirmed cases related to an outbreak is 40.

Donegal and Mayo made up 30% of all cases linked to an outbreak for the week ending 11 December.

Outbreaks in hospitals accounted for 14% of cases, and nursing homes for 9% of cases linked to an outbreak in November and December, up from 2% and 5% of cases linked to an outbreak in September and October.

Underlying Conditions

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 1,739 deaths of people with underlying conditions from 19,653 confirmed cases with underlying conditions. The median age of those dying with underlying conditions is 83.

There were 1,617 deaths of people with underlying conditions in the over 65 age group. Of the 131 deaths in the 25-64 age group, 121 had underlying conditions.

In terms of underlying conditions, chronic heart disease was present in 44% of deaths.

For further COVID-19 related information go to the CSO COVID-19 Information Hub

Show Table: Table 1 Profile of COVID-19 Deaths and Cases up to and including Friday December 11 2020

Show Table: Table 2 & 2A Weekly Profile of COVID-19 Confirmed Deaths

Show Table: Table 3 & 3A Weekly Profile of COVID-19 Confirmed Cases

Show Table: Table 4 & 4A Weekly Electoral Division (ED) Analysis of Confirmed Covid-19 Cases

Show Table: Table 5 Average Contacts per Positive COVID-19 case by Age Group

Show Table: Table 6 & 6A Weekly Profile of New COVID-19 Cases who are Subsequently Hospitalised

Show Table: Table 7 & 7A Weekly Profile of Confirmed Cases linked to COVID-19 Outbreaks

Show Table: Table 8 Profile of COVID-19 Patients with Underlying Conditions up to and including Friday December 11 2020

Show Table: Table 9: Weekly Referrals for Community COVID-19 Tests, Tests Completed and Positivity Rate

Full statistical tables can be downloaded here:

Table 2: COVID-19 Deaths and Cases Series 18 - Table 2-2A (XLS 30KB)

Table 3: COVID-19 Deaths and Cases Series 18 - Table 3-3A (XLS 21KB)

Table 4: COVID-19 Deaths and Cases Series 18 - Table 4-4A (XLS 38KB)

Table 6: COVID-19 Deaths and Cases Series 18 - Table 6-6A (XLS 24KB)

Table 7: COVID-19 Deaths and Cases Series 18 - Table 7-7A (XLS 50KB)

Table 9: COVID-19 Deaths and Cases Series 18 - Table 9 (XLS 17KB)

 

Further Information

Contact
E-mail: Steven.Conroy@cso.ie