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COVID Deaths and Cases

From 28 February 2020 to 15 January 2021

CSO statistical release, , 11am

COVID-19 Insight Bulletins: Deaths and Cases, Series 20

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

Open in Excel:

The date used for reporting on weekly cases in this bulletin is the ‘epidemiological date’, in line with Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) daily reports. This date more accurately reflects the date symptoms are first experienced by the patient.

Figure 1 shows how as the incidence of COVID-19 increased over the Christmas period, the reported cases (yellow line) fell behind the positive tests processed (blue line) and a backlog of cases was created.

In an effort to deal with the increase in cases and clear this backlog the information collected by HPSC in the Computerised Infectious Disease Reporting (CIDR) system was temporarily curtailed including a suspension of the Positive Patient Assessment extract from the COVID Care Tracker (CCT, the HSE’s Case Management System for COVID-19).  As a result, the epidemiological date from the CIDR system began to track the date positive tests were processed and not onset of symptoms.

Reported Date Positive testsEpidemiological dateSymptomatic Cases
14/12264356669540
15/12329474650517
16/12431521726546
17/12484637774585
18/12582703862638
19/12527746834638
20/12764757888721
21/1272769812911051
22/12970107715711214
23/12938126917501376
24/12922164419711653
25/121025120721262042
26/12129634334343183
27/12744117845014156
28/12765200754084904
29/121546286756374805
30/121718437257494761
31/121620562157314591
01/011754455454104687
02/013394648851654609
03/014962519946984297
04/016110443052494618
05/015325686543503576
06/017836636838173144
07/016521515632212604
08/018248509930962528
09/014842418827652292
10/016888292224432164
11/014929252129062388
12/013086393225001977
13/013569385423141707
14/013955345718911409
15/013498313316421178
16/0132312868
17/0129441877
18/0121211784
19/0120012791

However, information on onset of symptoms continued to be recorded in the CCT system and therefore the CSO has changed the methodology used to estimate the epidemiological date to include the symptom onset date from the CCT system thus reflecting the date of symptom onset more accurately, in addition to correcting for reporting delays.

Using this revised methodology to estimate epidemiological date (grey line) we can see that the surge in cases started around 20 December. The surge began to slow around 28 December, peaked on 30 December (5,749 cases) and on 04 January a turning point is reached with daily cases beginning to fall. (Note: as the epidemiological date relates most closely to symptom onset it is expected that figures provided in more recent days will be revised upwards in the epidemiological date series. Data reported beyond 19 January on CIDR confirmed cases is not included in this series.)

From 01 January the testing regime was changed, and close contacts were not referred for testing unless symptomatic. The impact of this change can be seen in the daily series of symptomatic cases by epidemiological date (green line). The peak for symptomatic cases was reached earlier on 28 December and remained relatively stable until 04 January.

Due to the reduction in information collected in CIDR over the last number of weeks, data on health care workers, outbreaks and underlying conditions has not been included in this bulletin.

Key Findings:

  • Some 247 people died due to COVID-19 in the week ending 15 January
  • More than 50 people have died due to COVID-19 in each of the last three weeks
  • The number of cases for the week ending 15 January was 16,461, a decrease of 13,135 cases from the previous week
  • The median age of new confirmed COVID-19 cases was 42 years old for the week ending 15 January
  • The 25-44 age group showed the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases at 59,510
  • In the last two weeks there has been an increase in the number of cases in the over 65 age group making up 15% of confirmed cases in the week ending 15 January
  • In the week ending 08 January, Dublin accounted for 4,680 cases or 28% of all new cases
  • Hospitalisations have been increasing since the week ending 11 December and were 828 in the week ending 08 January, the highest recorded
  • The average number of contacts per positive case per week was two in the week ending 15 January, down from four contacts in late December

This is the twentieth 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 2020 to 15 January 2021.

Confirmed Cases

For the week ending 15 January, the number of weekly cases was 16,461, a decrease of 13,135 from the previous week. This is the third highest weekly number of cases since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic last March. The total number of confirmed cases to date is 175,082.

Dublin accounted for more than a quarter (4,680) of all new cases for the week ending 15 January and it was the second week in a row that weekly cases in Dublin have fallen. Cork was the county with the second highest number of new cases (1,985) for the week ending 15 January. No other counties had more than 1,000 weekly cases in the week ending 15 January. Leitrim and Longford had less than 100 weekly cases in the week ending 15 January.

The median age of new confirmed COVID-19 cases was 42 years old for the week ending 15 January. The median age for all cases is 38 years old. Galway has the lowest median age at 31 while Wicklow is highest at 42.

Since the start of the pandemic, some 9,186 more females were diagnosed with COVID-19 than males. 

The 25-44 age group still showed the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases at 59,510. In the last two weeks there has been an increase in the number of cases in the 65 – 79 and 80 years or older age groups with these groupings together making up 15% of confirmed cases in the week ending 15 January (figure 2).

Week EndingWeekly Cases% 65 and over
04/09/202010259.36585365853659
11/09/202016549.49214026602177
18/09/2020208010.9615384615385
25/09/202024438.80065493246009
02/10/202031949.26737633061991
09/10/202047247.28196443691787
16/10/202070258.38434163701068
23/10/202053519.1758549803775
30/10/2020419610.4623450905624
06/11/2020303312.4629080118694
13/11/2020269412.3979213066073
20/11/2020219812.0109190172884
27/11/2020184212.486427795874
04/12/2020193713.6293236964378
11/12/2020217611.71875
18/12/2020450912.1756487025948
25/12/20201399210.4202401372213
01/01/2021358029.77878330819507
08/01/20212959611.2380051358292
15/01/20211646115.570135471721

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. Hospitalisations have been increasing since the week ending 11 December and were 828 in the week ending 08 January, the highest recorded. It is important to note that there is a time lag between onset of symptoms and hospital admissions and trends in confirmed cases in hospitals suggest that the numbers reported for recent weeks will be revised upwards and thus are marked as provisional.

Referrals and Testing

There were 136,169 referrals for community testing where a valid reservation was recorded in the week ending 15 January. Referrals for testing decreased in the last week, in particular among the 15 – 24 age groups, which decreased from 22,996 to 16,571 in the week ending 15 January. Some 52% of referrals were from GPs in the week ending 15 January. Analysis on referral speciality type shows that while residential settings / institutions / schools’ referrals for testing have remained consistent for the last number of weeks - General COVID-19 testing has dropped by 26,802 while healthcare / essential worker testing has increased in the week ending 15 January.

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 168,831 tests completed in the week ending 15 January. The positivity rate in the week ending 15 January was 15.4%, down from 22.4% the previous week.

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 due to COVID-19 has been greater than 50 for each of the last three weeks and Dublin continues to be the worst hit.

Since the start of the pandemic, the total number of people who have died due to COVID-19 in Ireland is 2,361, with a further 175 deaths cited as probable deaths linked to the virus. For the week ending 15 January, 247 deaths were recorded.

The virus claimed the lives of 163 more men than women up to and including the week ending 15 January. It also continues to impact the older age groups the hardest, with 63% of all confirmed COVID-19 deaths to date in the 80 years old or older age group.

Contacts

The average number of contacts per positive case per week was two in the week ending 15 January, down from four contacts per case in late December. This implies details of more than 32,000 close contacts were recorded in the week.

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 January 15 2021

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 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 20 - Table 2-2A (XLS 27KB)

Table 3: COVID-19 Deaths and Cases Series 20 - Table 3-3A (XLS 35KB)

Table 4: COVID-19 Deaths and Cases Series 20 - Table 4-4A (XLS 41KB)

Table 6: COVID-19 Deaths and Cases Series 20 - Table 6-6A (XLS 24KB)

Table 9: COVID-19 Deaths and Cases Series 20 - Table 9. (XLS 13KB)

 

Further Information

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