Tipperary people urged to be on alert over bank holiday as Covid surges in Limerick
The Mid-West Major Emergency Management Group is asking people in North Tipperary, Limerick and Clare to enjoy the Bank Holiday Weekend safely and responsibly to halt the spread of Covid-19 in the community.
In the two weeks leading up to June 2, there has been an increase of more than 800 cases in Limerick, 48 cases in Clare, and 32 cases in North Tipperary.
According to provisional data for June 2, there were 103 new Covid-19 cases in Limerick, seven cases in Clare, and fewer than five cases in North Tipperary.
While Covid-19 situation remains stable in Clare and North Tipperary, weekends and occasions with increased activity have led to significant increases in infection levels due to intensified social mixing and organised social gatherings.
The vast majority of new Covid-19 cases in the past two weeks have been associated with indoor gatherings, house parties, household visits, family gatherings, and largely indoor activity.
With the current high incidence rate in the Mid-West, indoor gatherings outside Public Health guidelines are considered high-risk and have had significant knock-on effects in the community, including in workplaces and schools.
As Leaving Certificate exams commence next Wednesday, June 9, the group is asking the public to be extra conscious of their activity, as students who become new confirmed cases or new close contacts will miss a number of scheduled exams.
The HSE self-referral walk-in and drive-through Covid-19 test centre at Tyone in Nenagh will continue to operate until next Wednesday, June 9, from 11am to 7pm. This free service is led by the National Ambulance Service, with the support of HSE Mid-West Community Healthcare and Public Health Mid-West.
The cathaoirleach of Tipperary County Council, Cllr Michael Smith said: “As we continue to ease out of restrictions and look forward to the June Bank Holiday weekend, it is important that we continue to adhere to public health guidance and keep physical distance from others, wash hands regularly, avoid crowds and wear face coverings. Every action you take is another layer of protection between you and the virus and the more layers you have, the more protection you have. Let’s stick to the measures that we know will work to reduce the incidence of the disease.”
Dr Mai Mannix, Director of Public Health Mid-West, said: “We are cognisant of the fact that many people will be looking forward to enjoying the long weekend, especially as the hospitality sector starts to reopen. However, I would like to appeal everyone to continue following Public Health guidelines when meeting with friends and family; to stay outdoors, wear masks, socially distance, limit your contacts, and avoid crowded or congested areas to reduce your risk of catching COVID-19.
“With regards the high incidence rate in Limerick, we are currently going through a period of active case finding, allowing us to track, trace, and follow the disease in the region. Things will get worse before they get better, but we are hopeful we will overcome this outbreak with the help of the public availing of walk-in testing and adhering to Public Health guidelines."
Colette Cowan, CEO, UL Hospitals Group, said: “We are making great progress with the vaccination programme but a significant proportion of the population does not have that protection. People in all age groups are at risk of becoming severely ill due to Covid-19. A sustained high incidence in Covid-19 transmission across the Mid-West has the potential to cause severe disruption in our hospitals when they are attempting to recover from a devastating cyber attack that has already resulted in significant cancellations and delays for patients.”
HSE Mid West Community Healthcare Chief Officer, Maria Bridgeman said: "I want to thank the people of Limerick, Clare and Tipperary for their continued efforts in suppressing COVID-19. While we hope that as many people as possible will enjoy themselves this weekend, it is important that all of us remain mindful of the public health advice. Covid testing is continuing throughout the weekend, with no appointment needed for those attending our sites in Limerick, Ennis and Nenagh. I would encourage anyone who feels that they may need a test to avail of this service without delay."
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