There have been 310 Covid-19 cases over 14 days in Donegal
A total of 209 cases of the more contagious Delta variant of Covid-19 have been detected in the State, new figures show.
Most of the cases detected are in age groups that are yet to have been offered vaccination.
Almost half of those found to have the variant have been aged between 19 and 34.
A report from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) released on Friday shows 103 of the cases (49.3%) were found in the 19 to 34 age group with 41 cases found in those aged 35 to 44 years.
Thirty-three cases (15.8%) were found in those aged under 18 and 28 cases (13.4%) were detected in those aged 45 to 64 years old.
Only four cases (2%) were detected in people aged over 65.
The HPSC says the variant, which was first detected in India, has increased transmission and potentially has increased severity.The figures cover from December up to June 5, so the true number of cases of the variant in the country is expected to be higher.
The growth of the variant has caused the Government to consider delaying the easing of restrictions that would allow the reopening of indoor hospitality on July 5.
A meeting of the National Public Health Emergency Team to discuss the further reopening is not expected until Wednesday with a final decision due after a full meeting of the Government on Thursday.
Rate in Donegal
Meanwhile, a county breakdown of the Covid-19 infection rate in the country shows Donegal has more than twice the national incidence rate.
The figures, which cover the 14 days up to June 22, show the rate in the county is 194.7 cases per 100,000 people compared to the national average of 92.7.
There have been 310 cases over 14 days in the county and the five-day moving average is 22. Donegal has the second-highest rate in the country after Limerick which has a rate of 232.9.
The Health Service Executive has expressed concern about the increase of Covid-19 in the north-west but said on Tuesday that the Delta variant had not been detected in the region.
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