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Dr Mai Mannix, director of public health Mid-West, who has urged people to remain on their guard to reduce the spread of Covid-19 in the Mid-West.

Tesco Confirms Covid-19 Outbreak As Clare cases remain low

TESCO Ireland has confirmed a number of its retail staff at its Coonagh store have tested positive for Covid-19.

A lot of residents in South-East Clare use this Coonagh store regularly to complete their weekly and daily shopping.

Responding to Clare Champion queries, Tesco confirmed a number of their employees at their Coonagh store were confirmed cases but declined to disclose a specific number.

A Tesco spokesperson said the safety of its colleagues and customers is their number one priority. “Tesco can confirm that a number of our colleagues at our Coonagh store have tested positive for Covid-19. We are fully engaged with the HSE and have followed all appropriate public health advice.

“We have made face coverings available to our colleagues, and continue to emphasise that physical distancing, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene are the most important actions to protect everyone against the spread of COVID-19. We have extensive measures across all of our stores to help keep everyone safe, including protective screens at every checkout, social distancing signage and regular cleaning. We will not be providing information about individual colleagues,” she said.

The 14-day incidence rate of the virus in Clare continues to fall and is now the fourth lowest in the country.

It dropped to 32 per 100,000 on November 30 in Clare, which is well below the national average of 80%.

This compares to a rate of 138% in Limerick, which is now the fourth highest in the country and 81% in Tipperary. According to figures produced by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre, there were 39 new cases of Covid-19 in Clare, 270 in Limerick and 130 in Tipperary from November 24 to December 7.

Meanwhile, the Department of Public Health Mid-West is asking members of the public to exert extra efforts in tackling Covid-19 in their communities, and to exercise caution now so people can enjoy a safe holiday season.

Sunday December 6, saw one of the lowest daily incidences of Covid-19 across the Mid-West region since September – a welcome development that is a direct result of the public’s determined response to the pandemic during Level 5 restrictions.

Dr Mai Mannix, Director of the Department of Public Health Mid-West, said that it is important for the public to understand that the vast majority of new cases occurring now are associated with activities prior to the ease of restrictions rather than activities in recent days.

“When new infections drop to single-digit figures after long periods of high incidence rates, it positively reflects the public’s continued, sustained efforts in fighting the virus locally. It also lessens the burden on our frontline staff. Significant outbreaks are still being managed across a range of settings in the region.

“However, we know from past experiences during this pandemic that these positive steps can be undone and reversed very quickly when people drop their guards. The risk of contracting the virus has not changed since it was first detected, and it is still causing severe illness. People should be extra mindful of limiting their own exposure to risk as restrictions ease,” Dr Mannix said.

People can limit their risk of contracting the virus by wearing a mask, keeping a distance of at least two metres, reducing their social contacts and washing their hands regularly.


Dan Danaher

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