New campaign launched to reduce spread of Covid-19 in Limerick workplaces

New campaign launched to reduce spread of Covid-19 in Limerick workplaces

THE Department of Public Health Mid-West has launched an awareness campaign to help Limerick businesses and members of the public to stay safe from Covid-19 as more services and workplaces reopen.

The Safe Work Stops Covid initiative aims to educate and inform people and workers through a range of online initiatives, including daily and weekly updates on Covid-19 in Mid-West workplaces on social media; daily themed tips on how your local business can stay safe over the coming weeks and months and the publication of an easy-read guidebook.

Public Health Mid West says a Specialist in Public Health Medicine will also provide regular detailed insights on workplace trends and that a webinar will be arranged to help local businesses.

Currently a number of situations and outbreaks are being managed in workplace settings. The main causes include inconsistent mask-wearing, poor social distancing, inadequate ventilation, staff members working while infectious and a lack of robust Covid-19 workplace policies.

"Currently, Public Health Mid-West is investigating 23 workplace situations in the region, involving 32 cases and an estimated 59 close contacts. A workplace situation is when Public Health Mid-West is notified of at least one Covid-19 case that is linked to a workplace, requiring further investigation and risk assessment," said a spokesperson.

Dr Marie Casey, Specialist in Public Health Medicine, who leads outbreak control in workplaces in the Mid-West, commented: “Our team has managed more than 5,000 Covid-19 outbreaks, hundreds of which have been linked to workplaces. Since the start of the pandemic, we have dealt with fewer than five Covid-19 cases, acquired outside of workplace, among our own public health team. None of the cases  were linked or resulted in onward transmission. Like many other businesses, our office comprises a large open plan floor, and a number of multi-occupancy and single occupancy offices."

Dr Casey (pictured) says is encouraging people to engage with the new campaign. "The measures we aim to highlight through our Safe Work Stops Covid campaign are ones we use ourselves in our own workplace. We wear face masks at all times, socially distance, wash and sanitise our hands regularly, ventilate each working space, and prioritise Covid prevention and safety for staff. Some businesses in the Mid-West are still not applying these measures consistently, which makes them vulnerable to outbreaks," she said.

Businesses are also being encouraged to avail of the free walk-in Covid-19 testing service which opened in Limerick this morning.

"Additionally, we encourage all businesses to facilitate staff to be vaccinated when their appointment is allocated to them, this is of utmost importance over the coming months. We acknowledge that it is both and exciting and stressful time for businesses. However, our priority is to meaningfully engage with businesses, to equip them to deal with Covid-19 situations when they arise, and to help them to stay safe and open over the coming weeks and months ahead,” Dr Casey concluded.

For more information, follow Public Health Mid West on Twitter.

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