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LISTEN: Galway Independent TD welcomes Nursing Home Fair Deal legislation passed last night that will benefit family farms and family business

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Galway Bay FM Newsroom – Legislation has been passed in the Dail and Seanad this week that will protect the family farm and family business assets in the Fair Deal Scheme for Nursing Homes when it is enacted into law inside the next 90 days.

The new legislation sets a cap of 3 years on the family farm and family business assets in assessing the contribution by families to the Fair Deal Scheme.

Under the scheme, many farms and business were being put at risk because the liability to contribute to the Fair Deal Scheme was not capped and the payments could be such a burden that land had to be sold.

However, the new legislation places a time frame of 3 years and is in line with the cap on the assessment of the family home.

The legislation was welcomed this afternoon by independent Galway East TD Sean Canney who told John Mulligan that it had taken six years for this legislation to be put in place.

John asked him first of all to elaborate on the legislation that was passed last night.

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Covid incidence rate in city centre 3 times higher than national average

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – The incidence rate of Covid-19 in the city centre is now three times higher than the national average.

The 14-day rate per 100 thousand people in the area is 1,033 – compared to the national average of 344.

Meanwhile, Galway City East is 639 and Galway City West is 528.

Elsewhere, and Connemara South is 370, Loughrea is 357, Athenry-Oranmore is 344, Tuam is 340, Connemara North is 308, Ballinasloe is 285, Gort-Kinvara is 255.

Nationally, the highest 14-day incidence rate is in Co. Donegal – with the Carndonagh local electoral area is over eight times the national average.

Carndonagh’s is by far the highest in the country, at 2,800.

Neighbouring Buncrana is the second hardest hit area in the country, with a rate of 1,476.

That’s followed by Galway City Central, with 1,034, Westport with 958, and Donegal LEA at 955.

New international data has also been published by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

It shows Ireland has the seventh highest 14-day incidence rate in the EU – with Cyprus by far the worst, with 1,514 per 100,000 population.

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Senior Cabinet Minister to visit Galway today for series of engagements

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Senior Cabinet Minister Heather Humpreys is set to visit Galway today for a two-day series of engagements.

The Minister for Rural & Community Development, Minister for Social Protection, and temporary Minister for Justice, will embark on a series of engagements from this morning.

Minister Heather Humpreys will start her two-day visit with a tour of Aerfort Chonamara in Inverin.

She’ll then visit Inis Óirr to view the pier and engage with local groups, before travelling to Inis Meáin for further engagement with the local community.

She’ll return to the mainland this afternoon for a range of events – including the launch of a tourism marketing campaign for Connemara and the islands, a sod turning on Doire Iorrais Bridge, and the opening of a laboratory space in the gteic hub in An Spidéal.

Tomorrow morning, Minister Humphreys will also visit the Bia Innovator Campus in Athenry before making her way to Knockdoemore to view the Lackagh Walking Trail.

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1,361 new cases of Covid-19 nationwide

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Statement from the National Public Health Emergency Team

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been notified of 1,361* confirmed cases of COVID-19. 

As of 8am today, 160 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 26 are in ICU.

Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said: “We have to continue to drive up vaccination rates as high as possible. The higher we go the better the protection we have and the sooner we’ll be able to ease more of the economic and social restrictions that still remain in place.”

“Walk-in vaccination centres are opening across the country, anyone over 16 years of age can register for a COVID-19 vaccine. Encourage your friends and family to ensure they get reliable information about the vaccines available here and to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

“For our exhausted healthcare workers, the winter months ahead mean flu, other respiratory infection admissions alongside the backlog of scheduled and unscheduled care that has been disrupted due to COVID-19. We owe it to them to continue to maintain the basic personal public health protections; manage your contacts, keep distance, wash/sanitize hands regularly, cough/sneeze etiquette, avoid crowds, wear masks indoors and in crowded settings, if you experience COVID-19 symptoms isolate and get tested.”

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