Urgent appeal to protect lives and our community from the HSE, An Garda Síochána and Louth County Council

Thursday, 3 December 2020

We are all acutely aware that the incidence rate of COVID19 in Louth is too high and needs to come down.

The latest figures shows that Louth still has the second highest incidence rate in the country at 184.7 per 100,000 population with 238 new cases in the 14 days up to Saturday, 28 November which is over twice the national 92.3 per 100,000.

The HSE, Louth County Council and An Garda Síochána are working together through emergency management structures to co-ordinate the community response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. As lockdown restrictions are being eased, they are issuing an urgent appeal to the citizens of Louth to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Dr Augustine Pereira, Director of Public Health Medicine in the North East said: “We know that it may be very easy for people to let their guard down unwittingly especially in light of easing of restrictions but I urge people to hold firm for a bit longer and prioritise their interactions in the run up to Christmas. As the country opens up to Level 3 this week, people should continue to heed the advice to wear a mask, not just indoors but in outdoor areas where they can’t maintain social distancing, to wash their hands and to avoid crowded areas.”

Community and household transmission in Louth remains one of the main sources of infection, said Dr Pereira. “It is important that people self-isolate if they develop any symptoms or feel ill. They should contact their GP to arrange for a test if their symptoms worsen. It’s really important that people isolate for 10 days if they test positive and also to isolate while awaiting test results. Restricting movements if identified as a close contact of a confirmed case of Covid would be hard for anyone, but this is vitally important to do so if advised by HSE. As Louth has one of the highest rates of infection in the country, we remain concerned that the numbers can quickly rise if we ignore this advice.”

Superintendent for Louth Garda Christopher Mangan said: “In order to reduce the number of Covid incidents, I would ask that people do not make any unnecessary journeys as we all need to ensure the general public and vulnerable people are protected, we will be out there on checkpoints, so expect to be stopped.”

The Chief Executive of Louth County Council Joan Martin said: “All of us have to play our part, follow the rules, minimize our contacts and let’s mask up and do our bit!”

The HSE is reminding people that have Covid-19 symptoms of the necessity to isolate themselves from everyone and contact a GP.

  • If you’re concerned about any symptoms, stay at home and contact your GP
  • If you’re waiting for a test or the results of a test, stay at home, away from others. Your household contacts must also stay at home while you are waiting for the result of your test
  • If you’re the close contact of a case – stay at home and restrict your movements for 14 days
  • If you receive a positive test result – you need to stay at home, and isolate yourself from others for 10 days.
  • For more information go to www.hse.ie/coronavirus

The best way of reducing the number of Covid-19 outbreaks is to reduce the level of community transmission around the country. To protect the vulnerable, including residents of nursing homes and other long term residential facilities, we need to do everything we can to stop the transmission of Covid-19.

The most important action we can take to protect ourselves and others from Covid-19 is to follow the public health advice:

  • ensure regular hand washing
  • practice good respiratory hygiene
  • keep 2m between yourself and other people
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
  • wear a mask where indicated in indoor public spaces
  • and download the Covid Tracker App

Ends

Ciaran Brennan
Communications Manager
Midlands Louth Meath Community Healthcare Organisation
ciaranj.brennan@hse.ie
CHO8.Press@hse.ie
087 202 1065

Last updated on: 04 / 12 / 2020