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Dr Mai Mannix has appealed to Clare people to limit their social contacts to reduce the transmission of Covid-19.

Covid-19 Appeal Reduce Your Social Contacts


CLARE people have been urged to limit their social activity following a dramatic rise in confirmed Covid-19 cases in recent weeks.

Public Health Mid-West are advising people in Limerick, Clare, and North Tipperary to limit social activity in order to reduce the level of Covid-19 in the community. Infection rates have doubled in the region in recent weeks, which is similar to January levels.

Unlike the January wave, the Department of Public Health are seeing a lower incidence of illness and death thanks to the successful vaccination programme to date.

However, due to the sharp escalation in new cases in recent weeks, breakthrough infections with serious outcomes are more likely to occur.

The department continue to encourage everyone to register for a free Covid-19 vaccine, to avail of a second dose if they have not already done so, and if eligible to avail of the booster vaccine when they receive their text message from the HSE.

On November 8, there were 3,374 Covid-19 cases in the Mid-West region; 1,801 in Limerick, 1,027 in Clare, and 546 in North Tipperary.

Of these, 79% are aged 18 and older, 5% are aged 12-17, 13% are aged 5-11, and 3% are aged 0-4.

Public Health Mid-West is managing outbreaks in nursing homes, long-term residential care facilities, healthcare settings, workplaces, education settings, and a range of settings in the community.

Pre-pandemic levels of social activity is a factor in the high prevalence of infection in the community, causing significant onward transmission in multiple settings.

In terms of contact tracing and surveillance, the current widespread level of infection is placing significant pressure on their ability to visualise the complete disease profile in the region.

Dr Mai Mannix, Director of Public Health Mid-West, said as a community, we have a lot to be positive about.

“More than 90% of the eligible population in the Mid-West has received at least one dose of their Covid-19 vaccine.

“This is exceptionally high in international standards, and this valiant effort is playing a valuable part in curtailing the level of serious illness and hospitalisations.

“However, we are expecting a considerable increase in Covid-19 cases, should social activity remain at its current rate. As a result, we will likely see a greater number of people with Covid-19 in hospital this winter period.”

“People can reverse this trajectory by making small changes in their day-to-day activity. Public Health Mid-West ask that people limit their social activity and social contacts over the coming weeks to help reduce the incidence of Covid-19 in the community.

“Public Health Mid-West advise people to continue wearing face masks in busy public places, around older and vulnerable people, and at work. The department are seeing a trend of some workplaces dropping their guard in terms of mask-wearing, which is high-risk when Covid-19 is circulating widely in the community.

“The department has encountered instances where people with symptoms have purchased an antigen test and have relied on a not detected result as a green light to continue normal activity. People with symptoms should self-isolate and book a PCR test to accurately determine their Covid-19 status.

 

Dan Danaher

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