Dr Marie Casey says Covid case numbers could 'rapidly increase' if hurling supporters ignore the public health guidelines
AN appeal has been issued to GAA fans, members of the public and businesses to support the Limerick senior hurlers safely this weekend, as a high rate of Covid-19 continues to circulate in the community.
Due to the social nature of watching the All-Ireland final, the current baseline of cases in Limerick City and County, and the highly-transmissible Delta variant, the Department of Public Health Mid West says there is a high risk of infection for people who are unvaccinated or not fully-vaccinated if they engage in social activity that is outside Public Health guidelines.
“We are urging everyone attending household events, hospitality settings and any indoor gathering to maintain social distancing, wear a face mask, and limit social contact in well-ventilated spaces,” states an appeal which has been issued ahead of Sunday’s match at Croke Park.
The hospitality sector is also being urged to protect staff and customers by confirming valid certificates of their patrons, and to avoid crowding both indoors and outdoors.
The Department of Public Health is also asking that people limit their post-match social activity – win, lose or draw!
Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr Daniel Butler said: “Having your county in an All-Ireland final is such a great occasion, with the excitement in communities growing as the final approaches. I know that Limerick supporters are some of the best and most passionate in the country, and we are hoping for a good result in Sunday. But we must remember that we are still living with Covid-19 and I’m appealing to everyone to enjoy the match and celebrate the Limerick hurlers in a safe and responsible manner.”
Appealing to supporters to observe public health guidelines, Dr Marie Casey, Specialist in Public Health Medicine, added: “The All-Ireland Senior Hurling Final is one of the most special sporting fixtures, bringing communities together and a welcome boost to the local economy. Unfortunately, if not controlled, this can turn into events which rapidly increase the number of cases in the community, as we had experienced last year.”
Dr Casey added: “The community in Limerick worked very hard to reduce the rates from the community outbreak in June and we would like to maintain this improvement. We are best protected when we are fully vaccinated and adhering to guidelines, so if you are socialising with friends and family this weekend, do so safely to limit the spread of Covid-19 in your community.”
Chief Superintendent Gerard Roche, head of the Limerick garda division is supporting the public health appeal: “Covid-19 is still present within our communities and so we all must continue to be careful. The best way of supporting your County on the day, is by continuing to support public health guidelines. By doing so you will be keeping your fellow supporters and community safe.”
John Cregan, Chairperson of the Limerick County Board hopes everyone – in Croke Park in and Limerick will behave responsibly.
“Next Sunday’s All-Ireland final appearance for Limerick will be a very special occasion for all Limerick people, and no doubt regardless of the result, emotions will run high and when emotions run high we sometimes tend to drop our guard. We must remember our obligation to protect ourselves and those around us from serious illness, and to that end can I appeal to all of our supporters to behave in a responsible manner, so to those who are attending and to all those who are making alternative arrangements to view the game, please listen to public health advice, observe all Covid-19 guidelines, and together we can ensure that this historic occasion will be both a safe and enjoyable experience for all involved.”
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