Direct appeal issued to people in Offaly, Laois and Kildare as Covid-19 cases surge
A specific appeal has been issued to people in Offaly, Kildare and Laois as cases of Covid-19 in the three counties rise putting them at the epicentre of Covid-19 in Ireland.
Just today there have been 22 confirmed cases in Offaly, 19 in Kildare and eight in Laois accounting for 49 out of a total of 69 confirmed cases.
Dr Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health is urging people in the three counties to be extra vigilant and extra careful.
Speaking at today's National Public Health Emergency Team briefing, Dr Glynn said," over the past fourteen days, 226 cases have arisen in Kildare, Laois and Offaly. These represent almost half of all cases in Ireland over that time period.
“While the majority of these cases can be accounted for by outbreaks, this volume of cases is significant and our main priority now is to ensure that these outbreaks do not lead to widespread community transmission in the region.
“NPHET continues to monitor the situation closely. I urge people in these counties to remain vigilant to stop the further spread of COVID-19 in these areas.”
Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said; “We have seen a significant increase in the incidence of COVID-19 over the past week. The reproduction number for the virus is now estimated to be 1.8. A reproduction number of almost 2 is a serious concern, and although we have not yet seen a significant increase in community transmission, there is a significant risk this could develop over the coming days and weeks emphasising the need for each of us to be extremely cautious that we do not contribute to the transmission of the virus.”
Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer, HSE said; “Public Health teams have been informed of the locations of these outbreaks as is routine and contact tracing and testing is taking place as appropriate. Our focus now is on controlling these outbreaks and taking action as necessary.
“We also need people to continue to follow our public health advice and avoid crowds, especially indoors, and limit the number of people you meet. The Department of Health and HSE launched the next phase of our communications campaign today encouraging people to keep up the protective behaviours of physical distancing, washing our hands regularly, wearing a face covering where appropriate and downloading the COVID-19 Tracker app.”