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01 Dec 2021

BREAKING: Limerick people urged to pause high-risk social activity as latest Covid figures are confirmed

BREAKING: Limerick people urged to pause high-risk social activity as latest Covid figures are confirmed

More than 3,000 new cases of Covid-19 have been reported this Friday

THE Department of Public Health Mid-West is urging members of the public to reduce or pause high-risk social activity this weekend and over the coming weeks.

The appeal comes following the reporting of more than 2,000 new cases of the disease in Limerick in the two weeks up to yesterday.

The 14-day incidence rate (per 100,000 population) is currently more than 1,000 in Limerick, Clare, and North Tipperary.

Nationally,  3,138 confirmed cases of the disease have been reported, this Friday, by the National Public Health Emergency Team.

Commenting on the figures, Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan said. "Anyone who is going to get Covid-19 in December has not yet been infected. Their infection is not inevitable and there is still time to prevent it by small changes in our behaviour. Those of us who have symptoms must stay home, self-isolate and get a PCR test – not an antigen test. All of us who are household contacts of a confirmed case need to restrict our movements and stay at home for five days and the rest of us need to minimise our chances of coming into contact with the virus by reducing the number of people we meet and layering up on the public health advice."

Meanwhile, figures collated by Public Health Mid West show a total of 2,287 cases of Covid-19 have been recorded across the region over the past seven days while 4,345 cases have been recorded in the past 14 days. Nearly half (48%) of cases have been recorded in Limerick.

Particular concerns are being expressed about the high rate of social activity over the past two to three weeks, amid increasing levels of infection among the more active adult population, particularly between the ages of 18 and 44.

Dr Mai Mannix, Director of Public Health Mid-West, said: “Covid-19 is circulating widely across the region with a high level of exposure in every pocket of our society. We know, from experience of previous waves of this magnitude, that a social outbreak in one area can have a negative impact at a vulnerable setting in another area. And while many of us are protected against Covid-19, breakthrough infections are occurring due to the high level of transmission in the community."

Public Health Mid West says it is currently prioritising investigations of, and responses to, outbreaks in key vulnerable settings, such as nursing homes, healthcare settings, settings with elderly and vulnerable populations and those with poor health outcomes.

As a result of this and given the current prevalence of Covid-19 in the community, outbreaks in other settings may be less likely to be identified or recorded.

“We are aware of recent media commentary regarding social activity among certain age cohorts. However, it is important to note that all age groups are active in society, and we can all play our part to break the chains of transmission in the community. Any congregate social activity or gathering is considered high risk due to the current level of infection in the community. Collectively, a small change in our social behaviour will play a major role in reversing the current trajectory," said Dr Mannix.

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