Donegal wake linked to 84-case Covid cluster

a sign on the side of a road: A walk-in test centre opened in the town of Milford earlier this week © BBC A walk-in test centre opened in the town of Milford earlier this week

Eight-four cases of Covid-19 have been linked to a wake in County Donegal, health officials have said.

A separate cluster of 32 cases came after a person was infected at a family gathering in the county and continued to go to work, while 19 cases followed an 18th birthday party.

The details emerged at a media briefing with Ireland's deputy chief medical officer, Dr Ronan Glynn.

Donegal currently has Ireland's highest Covid-19 rate.

The 14-day incidence rate of Covid-19 per 100,000 people in County Donegal was 307.8, as of Wednesday, while the rate for the country as a whole was 134.4.

Last week, Dr Tony Holohan, the country's chief medical officer spoke about his concerns about the "levels of non-compliance" with Covid-19 restrictions in the county.

On Tuesday, An Garda Síochána (Irish police) launched a phone line in Donegal to encourage people to let them know if they see restrictions being broken.

Dr Glynn told the briefing that Donegal was not being singled-out for blame.

"It would be very strange for us to preside over a situation where [the] incidence is very high and increasing in a county and not draw attention to that," he said.

"This is not in any way a reflection on the majority but, clearly, there are a number of incidents where people have pushed the boundaries".

He said such behaviour was not exclusive to Donegal, adding: "I suppose the difference, at the moment, versus some other places where we have particularly high incidences, is that there are large clusters driving incidences".

a man wearing a suit and tie: Dr Ronan Glynn said some people had 'pushed the boundaries' but Donegal is not being singled out for blame © BBC Dr Ronan Glynn said some people had 'pushed the boundaries' but Donegal is not being singled out for blame

On Wednesday, a second testing centre opened in the county in a bid to curb the spread of infection.

It is part of measures being implemented to combat a surge in cases in the Milford area.

The incidence rate in the Milford electoral area is 675.3, according to the most recent government data, while in neighbouring Letterkenny it is 594.1.

The Republic of Ireland's Level Five restrictions are being eased from 10 May.

Donegal wake linked to 84-case Covid cluster