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09 Aug 2022

Limerick people asked to be cautious of social activity amidst Covid-19 surge

coronavirus covid-19

Face masks

THE DEPARTMENT of Public Health Mid-West have asked Limerick people to be cautious of social activity due to the increase of Covid-19 cases across the region. 

The group have said that due to the high volume of cases there may be a delay in data reporting so numbers may not be up to date, however preliminary analysis indicates that there are at least 2,300 new cases in the region per day.

It is probable the real infection rate is higher due to the unprecedented levels of transmission across the three counties and nationwide. 

The Department said that an outbreak of more than 80 people (age ranged from early 20s to late 30s) was recently reported in a single community in the Mid-West.

Transmission occurred over a three-week period and involved multiple sources of exposure (e.g. social contact, household contact, education setting, workplace setting, etc).

Outbreaks such as these have occurred more frequently since the Christmas season, through multi-household clusters, large family and social gatherings, congregate settings and accommodation, with onward transmission occurring across all settings in the community at a fast rate.

Dr Mai Mannix, Director of Public Health Mid-West, said: “The past few weeks have been challenging for many of us, especially during and after the Christmas period where some plans had to be cancelled – often at short notice – due to significant community spread of COVID-19.

"Like last January, we are now seeing an exponential rise in disease due to widespread onward transmission after Christmas celebrations and continued social activity.

"This may persist for some time, which is why we urge people to be extra cautious of any social contact.”

Dr Mannix continued: “Omicron is a highly-transmissible variant that can cause serious illness. I note that research does suggest that it may be less severe than the previously dominant Delta variant. It is still impacting significantly on healthcare capacity.

"However, it is important to appreciate that while some people can have a mild illness, COVID-19 itself is not a mild disease and can still cause severe complications, especially for those who are unvaccinated and at higher risk.

"Our priority over the coming weeks as a community needs to be slowing the transmission as much as possible by limiting contacts and availing of the vaccination if you are eligible for it."

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