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Public urged to remain cautious

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THE Mid-West Major Emergency Management Group is asking people in Limerick, Clare, and North Tipperary 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.

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 Mid West Major Emergency Management Group has asked 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.

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,” Dr Mannix said.

Self referral walk in/drive through Covid testing will continue to be available at Ballymaley from 12noon until 6pm.

About Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.