#StaySafeWaterford say HSE Gárdai and the City and County Council

HSE Media Release: 28 September 2020

The people of the Déise, acting individually and as communities, need to remain vigilant to the threat of the Corona Virus and must continue to practice the basics that embody the hashtag #StaySafeWaterford.

That’s the message from the HSE, University Hospital Waterford and South East Community Healthcare – joined by the Gárdai and Waterford City and County Council.

Following a recent upward trend in numbers confirmed with Covid-19 living in Co. Waterford, which the civic partners in a joint statement last weekend described as very concerning, they have welcomed a decrease in recent days. It should not, they say, however, be taken as an indication that the likelihood of spread and infection locally is any less over the next while.

According to the HSE, the Gárdai and Waterford City and County Council, positive action and changes to behaviour are still required to ensure that hospital and community healthcare services locally are enabled to deal with demands, that the optimum levels of living safely alongside the threat of the virus are sustained and that Waterford remains at Level 2 of the public restrictions in place in Ireland.

Chair of the HSE’s Regional Crisis Management Team and Chief Officer of South East Community Healthcare Kate Killeen White said there are chains of transmission to be broken and a challenge remains for everyone in Co. Waterford to ensure we live as best we can with the virus:

“Our individual actions do matter. They all count. They do work. If we live by the advice we are being given, we can keep our schools open, resume non-COVID healthcare and protect our vulnerable people.”

The General Manager of University Hospital Waterford Grace Rothwell said her colleagues there were extremely grateful for the massive co-operation and support front line services have received from people locally and around the South East over the last six months: 

“It has been an extraordinary year for us all – a sad one, a challenging one and one to get through staying safe and with better times ahead in mind. Having coped so effectively up to now, we want to see Waterford go the way of our neighbours in South Tipp where numbers have reduced. There are basics we can all do in our daily lives to make sure we don’t get to the point where hospitals are again admitting significant numbers of cases.”

Specialist in Public Health Medicine and Director of the HSE’s South East Public Health Dept. Dr Carmel Mullaneyacknowledges that there has been a slight slowdown of cases in recent days but it is too soon to know whether this is a trend in the Waterford area: 

“Public health doctors regularly see cases occurring in people who are close contacts of confirmed cases and have not restricted their movements. Remember that COVID-19 is highly contagious and you can be infectious without symptoms. If you are a close contact of a confirmed case, please follow the advice you have been given and restrict your movements for 14 days – do not go to school or work, do not have visitors to your home, do not go to the shop or pharmacy unless it is absolutely necessary. And please avail of a test when it is offered. Last week one in 10 close contacts, when tested, were found to be positive – many of them had no symptoms. Above all if you develop a cough or fever, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, then stay at home, and contact your GP.”

Chief Executive of Waterford City and County Council Michael Walsh said inconvenience to communities was evident where continued trends in Covid numbers led to more restrictions:

“It’s very clear, in our vibrant city and all over this beautiful county, that people want to avoid the implementation of further restrictions. If that resolve is matched by an adherence to the basics, we can continue – as individuals and communities – to move in the right direction. I would ask everyone to remember the simple things - Wash your hands well and often, Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing, Limit contact with others and maintain physical distancing, Wear a face mask or covering where appropriate. If this is done, there will be a positive outcome.”

The Chief Superintendent of An Gárda Siochana in Waterford Padraig Dunne, in endorsing the message, said progress is in all of our hands:

 “As we saw here in Co. Waterford throughout the year, Ireland has been moving from a short-term emergency response approach to a medium-term one – that is to manage risk and repair the damage that Covid-19 has inflicted on society. We are at a critical point in tackling the spread of Covid-19 and everyone must take personal responsibility to avoid situations that are a risk to themselves, their family and their friends.”

Ends 

Last updated on: 28 / 09 / 2020