LATEST: 69 new cases of virus, three meat factories hit by outbreaks will not reopen tomorrow
There have been no further coronavirus-related deaths but 68 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed this evening.
It means the overall death toll as a result of the virus remains at 1,772. There are now 26,712 confirmed cases of Covod-19 across the country, according to the latest daily briefing from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).
The number of infections in Kilkenny now stands at 358, an increase of just one case over the past week.
Despite the sharp rise in cases, NPHET earlier said it is not contemplating any further regional lockdowns for the moment. It has advised the Government to urgently implement measures to reduce risk in high risk populations and workplaces.
The latest cases were confirmed after it was announced that three of the four meat plants in the midlands that has experienced outbreaks of the virus will not be reopening tomorrow.
The decision was made after Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said meat plants affected by an outbreak of Covid-19 should not reopen.
The outbreaks at four meat factories in Kildare and Offaly have led to around 300 confirmed cases of the virus so far.
In a statement, Kildare Chilling – where 150 workers had been diagnosed with the virus – confirmed processing operations at their site are suspended and that “any return to work will be under the guidance of the HSE and public health authorities”.
The Irish Dog Food factory in Naas, Co Kildare, which was closed two weeks ago due to an outbreak of Covid-19 among its workforce, have also deferred plans to reopen the plant tomorrow.
O’Brien Fine Foods, where 86 workers at the factory have tested positive for Covid-19, said its normal operations will remain suspended until August 18.