Local Covid-19 tracking plans are abandoned

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The Department of Health has abandoned plans to provide regularly updated figures on the spread of Covid-19 across electoral areas of Ireland, claiming there are now too few cases to publish the details.

In June, the new Covid-19 Data Hub – which allowed the public to see cases in each of the country’s electoral areas – was launched amid much fanfare.

At the time, health authorities promised it would be updated weekly from then on. However, the map has not been changed since the first set of data from June 12 was published.

The map had given the most detailed look yet of how the disease has spread around Ireland, allowing people to see the rate of infection in their locality.

Researchers from the CSO and NUI Maynooth had been able to pinpoint a locality in Co Monaghan with the highest rate of infection in the country.

The Department of Health has now said the number of cases is too low to continue providing the data, claiming it could be used to identify an individual.

They said: “There are more than 3,400 electoral districts across the country and they cover small areas of geography.

“Given that, at present, there are a low number of cases each day, updating information on a geographic level as small as electoral district could potentially identify individuals who have Covid-19.”

Sunday Independent

Source: Irish News