The latest spike in Covid-19 has hit Donegal and Louth harder than most, with the two counties containing seven of the top 10 areas nationally when it comes to cases.
One area each in Galway, Dublin, and Meath join the seven from Donegal and Louth as the areas with the highest number of cases per 100,000 people, with Munster escaping the worst hit this time around.
The figures come from the latest local electoral area (LEA) data compiled by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC), which details Covid-19 infection rates across 166 areas.
The national infection rate on July 19 was 245.8 cases per 100,000 population, and Lismore in Waterford is the one almost Covid-free area – which means less than five cases in the past two weeks.
Carndonagh in Donegal is the area with the highest levels at almost 1,975 per 100,000, followed by Buncrana with 1,238. It is the second week of very high numbers in Carndonagh, which had 848.9 cases per 100,000 seven days ago.
Ardee in Louth and Galway city follow Cardonagh and Buncrana in third and fourth places, but are still considerably below the Donegal areas when it comes to cases per 100,000, at 774 and 636 respectively.
Donegal town, Ongar in Dublin, Dundalk South and Dundalk-Carlingford in Louth, Lifford-Stanorlar in Donegal and Ratoath in Meath round out the rest of the top 10 areas.
The area with the highest instance per 100,000 cases in Munster is the north of Limerick city at 400, followed by Killarney at 361.
The east of Limerick city, Cork South Central, and Castleisland in Kerry make up the top five in Munster at 314, 253, and almost 251 respectively.
There were 1,189 new cases of Covid-19 on Thursday, with 95 people in hospital having tested positive, while there are 23 in intensive care, a rise of one from the day previously.
Deputy chief medical officer, Dr Ronan Glynn, urged caution for those travelling abroad, saying there has been a rise in travel-related cases.
He said: “The Delta variant is now dominant across the EU and, in recent weeks, we have noticed a sharp increase in the level of travel-related cases of Covid-19.
“Only those who are fully vaccinated or who have recovered from Covid-19 in the last 180 days should be considering international travel at this time.
“If you have recently returned to Ireland and have any symptoms of Covid-19, including fever, cough, headache, sore throat or a blocked or runny nose then please self-isolate and get tested without delay.”