Caution advised in Offaly as lockdown looms due to Covid-19 spike
Fianna Fáil TD for Laois-Offaly Barry Cowen has urged people to be more cautious and double down on their efforts in terms of handwashing, physical distancing, and other public health measures used to reduce the transmission of the coronavirus.
His advice comes after a spike in Covid-19 cases in Offaly. Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn said on Thursday that there had been 226 cases of Covid-19 in the last 14 days in Laois, Offaly and Kildare, almost half of all cases in Ireland during that period.
Offaly accounted for 22 of the 69 new cases announced on Thursday evening with local lockdowns now being considered by NPHET.
Barry Cowen has said he has made contact with Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly TD asking for greater supports from Government to reduce the transmission of the virus in the midlands.
Deputy Cowen explained, “Over the past few days there has been a significant growth in case numbers of the coronavirus associated with the midlands. While currently community transmission is low, I understand there are outbreaks at meat processing plants in Offaly and direct provision centres located in Laois.
“I understand the National Public Health Emergency Team are continuing with contract tracing in the region and further public health guidance for our region will be provided.
“I have written to the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly TD. I believe every resource should be provided to the midlands to ensure this outbreak does not spread into the community and that those working in meat processing plants and direct provision centres are afforded the very best care and supports in overcoming this deadly virus.
“We need to see a ramp-up of Government support for the midlands. According to the Acting Chief Medical Officer Ronan Glynn at least 60 cases are due to be announced today associated with Laois, Offaly, and Kildare. It is vital we see urgent intervention to tackle this localised outbreak of COVID-19,” concluded Deputy Cowen.