Public urged to exert extra efforts in tackling Covid-19 in their communities

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The Department of Public Health Mid-West is asking members of the public to exert extra efforts in tackling Covid-19 in their communities, and to exercise caution now so people can enjoy a safe holiday season.

Sunday, December 6, saw one of the lowest daily incidences of Covid-19 across the Mid-West region since September – a welcome development that is a direct result of the public’s determined response to the pandemic during Level 5 restrictions.

Dr Mai Mannix, Director of the Department of Public Health Mid-West, said that it is important for the public to understand that the vast majority of new cases occurring now are associated with activities prior to the ease of restrictions, and rather than activities in recent days. 

“When new infections drop to single-digit figures after long periods of high incidence rates, it positively reflects the public’s continued, sustained efforts in fighting the virus locally. It also lessens the burden on our frontline staff. Significant outbreaks are still being managed across a range of settings in the region.

“However, we know from past experiences during this pandemic that these positive steps can be undone and reversed very quickly when people drop their guards. The risk of contracting the virus has not changed since it was first detected, and it is still causing severe illness. People should be extra mindful of limiting their own exposure to risk as restrictions ease,” Dr Mannix said.

 People can limit their risk of contracting Covid-19 by doing the following:

·         Wearing a mask

·         Keeping a distance of at least two metres

·         Reduce your social contacts; meet up with a small number of people, and not in large groups

·         Washing hands regularly

 People can limit their risk while Christmas shopping by doing the following:

·         Keeping a distance of at least two metres from other shoppers

·         Nominating one person per household to do shopping

·         Wear mask indoors and on busy outdoor areas/streets

·         Carry your own bottle of hand sanitiser (minimum of 70% alcohol), and use frequently

·         Wipe down trolleys or baskets in supermarkets

·         Avoid hugging or physical contact with others