Coronavirus, Health, Health Service Executive

Coronavirus, Health

HSE still apprehensive despite positive virus trends

HSE Chief Clinical Officer Dr Colm Henry has said that while some of the Covid-19 measures are starting to kick in, his message was for people to 'stay the course' |

29/10/2020 18:31:00

HSE Chief Clinical Officer Dr Colm Henry has said that while some of the Covid-19 measures are starting to kick in, his message was for people to 'stay the course' |

Health Service Executive CEO Paul Reid said the executive remains 'very apprehensive' heading into the winter, despite some positive trends in terms of Covid-19 case numbers and the positivity rate.

Mr Reid said it was fair to say that it was far too early to call what they are seeing at the moment a "sustainable trend".He called on the public to lock down on all the measures being taken, and build on some of the early indications in terms of positive trends and "really hold their resilience" over the next five weeks.

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He said the HSE is conscious of the sacrifices that people have made so far through the virus, with many losing their jobs. He asked people to continue to build on the momentum being made against the virus going forward.  Latest coronavirus stories

The HSE remains 'very apprehensive' heading into the winter, says HSE Chief Executive Paul Reid pic.twitter.com/ufQHjNWSZl— RTÉ News (@rtenews) October 29, 2020 Mr Reid said people are reducing their contacts and the number of close contacts per confirmed case is now 3.7.

He said the first reduction in the positivity rate for cases had been seen since August and was now at 5.9%.He told the that there are currently 330 Covid-19 patients in hospital, with 42 patients in intensive care units. Of the 14,648 cases identified between 13 and 26 October, 346 (2.4%) have been hospitalised, with 19 admitted to ICU.

Mr Reid said of those 346 in hospital, 14 were in the 0-10 age group, 35 were aged 15-24, 105 were age 35-64, with six of these admitted to ICU. He said 192 (55%) were over the age of 65.He said over the past week there were 196 new admissions to hospital for Covid-19, an average of 28 per day, which is up 13% on the previous week.

He said the HSE is now seeing high numbers of hospitalisations around the country, rather than just in Dublin. Mr Reid also said a key issue the HSE are monitoring is a "multiple lag effect".He said there is a lag effect between cases in younger people (19-24) and how that then transmits to those over 65 plus, and there is another lag effect in terms of those cases being hospitalised, and another in turn in cases then going into ICU.

HSE Chief Clinical Officer Dr Colm Henry described the hospital system as "stable and coping" and that the HSE is not using surge capacity at this point.He said that while some measures are starting to kick in, the message was for people to stay the course.

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Dr Henry said the 14-day incidence was beginning to drop, but the 7-day incidence had dropped even more and they are beginning to see a peak and fall in all age groups, but that a "significant caveat" was that in older groups, it was continuing to rise.

He said hospitals are still safe places to come to, and urged people who need to come to Emergency Departments to do so.He said even though the measures seem to be taking effect, looking at the European experience, "we are only ever two weeks away from overwhelmed healthcare systems".

Mr Reid said the transmission rates of Covid-19 in schools remains consistently lower than in other environments and public health teams in schools are being strengthened. He said they have carried out mass testing on 774 schools and pre-schools to date, which involved testing a total of 18,900 students. 

He said there has been much debate over whether schools should open or not, but said it is "absolutely key" that everyone does everything in their power to ensure that schools remain open.  Transmission figures in schools remain 'very reassuring' - consultant

A Consultant in Public Health Medicine has reiterated that the picture emerging from schools regarding Covid-19 transmission rates remains "very reassuring". Dr Abigail Collins said it showed that schools were in general not incubators or exacerbators of Covid-19.

In a detailed explanation of the factors that public health teams use to determine who in a class should be regarded as a close contact, Dr Collins said public health teams had to balance what is reasonable with what is necessary."School is a very important place", she said. "If you designate someone a close contact you are automatically excluding them from education and exclusion is harmful and undesirable, so we are balancing." 

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Dr Collins pointed out that of the more than 300 students who had been diagnosed with Covid-19 through school-based testing, public health generally found that their families were often also symptomatic. She said it was not often that there appeared to be no other source for the infection, which would lead one to conclude that it could be the school. 

She said just 1.9% of schools were believed likely to have had interschool transmission and in those cases, an average of three people in the school had been identified as likely to have caught the virus in the school.Dr Collins said data from seven out of eight regions around the country showed about 70 school facilities where onward transmission was "plausible". 

She said that the positive data coming from schools was corroborated by national age data which showed that the proportion of children in virus figures had remained fairly stable from before schools opened to now. While 14.5% of cases were among children aged between 4 to 18 in August, that figure is now 15.6%.

Dr Collins said the experience of the past months had reinforced to public health officials that schools are safe places for our children to be. Read more: RTÉ News »

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fantastic news Well done everyone We should all live in our little bubbles from now on Overjoyed with this news I'm making a guillotine Please tell the people of ireland the truth, about how and when people have died. Don't be saying that X amount of people died today or any day for that matter, when in fact they died days and maybe weeks ago. John

life is a gift,dont spend another day wasted Hearing that for 7 months, and their only strategy is lockdown, open, lockdown rinse and repeat Proper Bozo this fell...What length is the course though... Another beauty that’s out of a job when this is over.. Its a bit like a revolving door...fine not fine...kick in not kick in....people on beaches creating risk , people should get out more....get rid of NPHET...REFORM HSE and let people get on with their life while they have one

This is BS, takes 2 weeks for new measures to take effect, what we are seeing now is effect of level 3 measures Everyone’s is doin great ,fuck off with his negativity How long is the course? FergalBowers Tnx for all the messages Doc. Here is one from myself and a few professional colleagues and friends... We will do our bit and 'stay the course' Hurry up with the test & trace. And share the decision making info so that we will know you are making the right decisions Cheers

LEVEL 3 WAS WORKING. And meant hundreds of thousands of us WERE NOT on the dole. Fight fear mongering & manipulation 'Fear has always been the most potent instrument of the authoritarian state. Fear promotes intolerant conformism and provokes abuse at anyone who steps out of Government’s line. These are the authentic ingredients of a totalitarian society.“

FergalBowers 😴😴 They might as well just play a tape on loop at this stage. Smear Test Tony is like a broken record. Absolute madness. This is was level 3 coming into effect. If u think people are gonna stay locked up for another 5 weeks your mad. This country is run by a bunch of rich doctors and money hungry politicians who dont care about the rest of us

Level 3 measures were working. Nphet.... sorry the HSE won't be listened to so quickly in future. Those boys were starting to believe their own hype. FergalBowers The measures affecting the recent numbers are the level 3 ones, not the recent level 5 ones. We should have stayed the course at level 3 not listened to crazies like McConkey and Nolan with their wild predictions.FergalBowers DonnellyStephen HSELive roinnslainte

FergalBowers We surely will. But its going to be a long November....and it's still October 😢😬 Why are they saying this when they know the results takes two,w aka 14 days Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Eh not sure I want to stay on a tyrannical course! Where's the pandemic?

Europe closing down again while America’s economy is coming back at a phenomenal speed. Donald has played this thing beautifully

HSE to admit suspension of contact tracing system was 'not ideal'The HSE will on Wednesday apologise for the impact of standing down of its ContactTracing system two weekends ago, admitting the situation was “not ideal” | McConnellDaniel reports McConnellDaniel *Not ideal How about *utterly unacceptable 😢 McConnellDaniel Definitely not ideal in schools for staff and pupils😭 McConnellDaniel Only because they have to... All about the optics and no sincerity whatsoever.

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HSE to apologise over contact tracing breakdownThe Health Service Executive will today apologise to the nearly 2,000 people who tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this month and who were asked to do their own contact tracing. We need to set up a tribunal for this like we do with absolutely everything else.. The phrase 'this was clearly not ideal' has been used to describe the totally unacceptable situation on testing. Likewise saying the 'system was overwhelmed' when it was the staff who were. Paul Reid should be addressing this and not sending out a line manager to explain it. Biden Rallys look like the future that RaTe would like you to imagine. Poor, delusional, demented Coke addled botox riddled pervs that they are.

HSE to apologise to nearly 2,000 people asked to do their own contact tracingHSE to apologise to nearly 2,000 people asked to do their own contact tracing because it was the 'only viable option'

HSE apologises to 2,000 people asked to do their own contact tracingCommittee told contact tracers can get ‘a fair degree of abuse’ from some people they call HSE love apologies. The HSE would seriously like to apologise for the use of apologies as a way of diffusing and diverting attention away from their failure as a Health Service , Please accept our heartfelt and sincere apologies in advance of future failures I don't see what there is to apologise for. Sounds like a sensible way to help a stretched system.