Deputy Martin Browne has appealed to everybody to work together to avoid the imposition of local restrictions following the identification of a cluster of cases connected to the mushroom factory in Golden and a case at the ABP meat factory in Cahir.
“We all have an individual part to play in the collective effort to stem the spread of Covid-19 and avoid the reintroduction of restrictions that would prove incredibly damaging to our local businesses and the wider Co Tipperary economy.
“The people in our county are renowned for their sense of community, and that has been displayed brilliantly to-date. But we need to redouble our efforts now. We need to remember that the virus has not gone away and will resurge given the slightest opportunity. So, we must join in a common effort and continue to practice social distancing and good hygiene measures.
“The events over recent days are worrying and disheartening. But we must not lose faith in the good habits we have adopted. We must remain united in our efforts to suppress this virus and protect our vulnerable, our businesses and our communities.
“Our nursing homes have acted incredibly responsibly to the increase in cases, with many taking additional measures to limit access to their facilities. While this is not easy for the residents or their families, we are fortunate to have such responsible nursing home managers,” he said.
“Following the identification of a number of cases among workers at Walsh’s Mushrooms in Golden, the HSE has said that the situation is being managed very effectively and that the safety of attached staff, their families and the local community is a priority.
“The confirmed case at the ABP plant in Cahir on Friday also confirms that all of these settings must be monitored effectively, continuously and repeatedly.
“The government must show leadership in this regard. It needs to lead by example by identifying and monitoring at-risk industries. Blanket testing at these settings must be carried out, and the tracking and tracing process must be immediate.
“Workers in these settings also need to be supported, particularly those living in crowded conditions, as has been reported following recent clusters in our meat factories.
“The public must also be assured that people travelling into the country are subject to a comprehensive and effective system of monitoring, testing, tracing and isolation where appropriate. We also need to see an effective follow-up regime. No longer can the public be allowed to feel as though half-measures are being taken in this regard,” he added.
“We need to have faith that the systems in place to identify and limit the spread of the virus are speedy, comprehensive and targeted at the settings that have proven to be the most at risk,” he concluded.