July 26, 2021

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 Waterford remains the same at just 166, the smallest recorded levels of the virus per capita in the country.

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.

Shane Doran

Shane Doran is founder and Co-Managing Editor of News Now Media, incorporating KilkennyNow.ie, WaterfordNow.ie and WicklowNow.ie. He is a former newspaper editor who has held senior executive roles across five national newspaper titles, both broadsheet and tabloid. He was News Editor and Executive Editor of the Irish Independent for more than seven years and spent a number of years in South Africa where he worked as editor of The Daily Voice newspaper. Shane has held senior editorial position with The Sunday Independent, The Herald and The Irish Daily Star and has served as Executive Editor (Group) of Independent News & Media (INM), Ireland’s largest newspaper group.

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