Number of Covid-19 cases linked to Limerick student outbreak approaches 300

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Email:

nick@limerickleader.ie

Number of Covid-19 cases linked to Limerick student outbreak approaches 300

THERE are now almost 300 cases of Covid-19 linked to Limerick’s student outbreak, it’s been revealed.

Information released to the Limerick Leader from Public Health Mid-West this lunchtime shows that as of today, there are 279 confirmed cases associated with this.

Separately, Public Health Mid-West has said it’s “disappointed” with what it has described as a “serious breach” of Covid-19 guidelines – but acknowledged it represented “a minority of the local student population.”

It comes after dozens of students held a party on the streets of College Court earlier this week. Videos, widely shared on the internet, showed youngsters openly drinking, smashing bottles, with fireworks also being released.

Gardai have since made a number of arrests and issued fixed penalty notices.

In a statement, Public Health Mid-West added: “We know that the vast majority of students in Limerick are showing great resolve in their efforts to suppress Covid-19 in their communities. We continue to encourage students to contact the UL Student Health Centre or their GP if they are showing even the mildest of symptoms. We also encourage students to engage open and honestly with contact tracers should they receive a call. Both testing and contact tracing are confidential processes, and are there to protect you, your household and your community,”

Dr Marie Casey, a specialist in Public Health Medicine, said: “I have been involved with managing all outbreaks among student populations in the Mid-West since the start of this pandemic, so I am acutely aware of the fatigue many students are feeling. We see the negative impact the pandemic has had on young people and we see the enormous sacrifices students have made over the past year.

“But we are at a crucial stage of this pandemic where we have the ability to bring cases to low levels while our most vulnerable get vaccinated. A lot of young people do not show symptoms if infected with this virus, which is why it is important to stay apart, avoid household visits and social gatherings of any kind, particularly during this current outbreak. We have seen on previous occasions how small social gatherings have led to secondary outbreaks in nursing homes, workplaces, and households with vulnerable family members. Young people have an important role to play in ensuring their loved ones and our most vulnerable get their chance to be vaccinated,” Dr Casey concluded.