19 May 2022

Dramatic increase in Covid cases in Leitrim and Sligo

Health chief in warning over Delta variant vaccine protection

"The Delta variant is highly infectious and is circulating in our communities"

Health Services in Counties Sligo and Leitrim are advising on the importance of practising public health behaviours in light of the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the North West.

Dr Anthony Breslin, Director of Public Health, HSE North West said, “Numbers are at an upward trend at the moment. People know what they have to do in terms of public health measures. They just need to keep doing it. I’d ask everyone to stay safe and be sensible.

“With the bank holiday approaching, I’d once again urge people not to congregate in large numbers, to observe social distancing and to continue good handwashing practices.”

Tony Canavan, CEO of the Saolta Hospital Group said, “It is clear that we are now on the upward curve of the fourth wave of COVID-19 infection in this country. We don’t yet know how many people will get seriously ill and will require hospital care or treatment in an Intensive Care Unit. A small percentage of all people with COVID-19 will require hospital care but as the number of cases in the community increases, this small percentage translates into a larger number of patients needing hospitalisation.

"Even before we see the impact of the fourth wave on our hospitals, we have record numbers of people attending the Emergency Departments, many of whom need to be admitted to hospital for ongoing treatment. We are seeing a level of activity normally not seen until December and January.

“The increase in COVID-19 cases in the community is a great concern and I would like to appeal to the public to stay vigilant and help halt the spread of the virus in the community by following public health advice in relation to wearing masks and keeping social distance. I would also urge anyone aged 18 and over who hasn’t yet registered to get a free COVID-19 vaccine at the IT Sligo or Carrick-on-Shannon Vaccination Centres to do so by going to The vaccine is the most effective way to prevent serious disease and will help protect you and those close to you.”

John Hayes, Chief Officer, CHO Area 1 (Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan and Sligo) said, “We are seeing large numbers attending for COVID-19 testing at our test sites at Finisklin in Sligo and Carrick-on-Shannon in Leitrim. The Delta variant is highly infectious and is circulating in our communities. Now more than ever, with restrictions easing we need to be extremely vigilant and not to let our guard down in terms of Public Health measures; it is vital that we do so to protect our loved ones and vulnerable people including those not yet vaccinated. The vaccination programme is making great progress, we would urge anyone aged over 18 years of age who has not yet registered for their free COVID-19 vaccine to do so.”

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