Authorities in Cork have warned that the city and county is now at a “critical juncture” in the Covid-19 outbreak and have appealed to the people of Cork to re-double their efforts this weekend and beyond to stop the spread of virus.
The regional inter-agency emergency management group said that the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 has increased over the last seven days.
“We are concerned about the increased number of cases we are seeing in some areas, in particular cases which we know have spread in social settings,” said Chair of the area HSE Crisis management team, Michael Fitzgerald.
“We are once again at a critical point. The actions we all take right now will dictate the spread of the virus over the coming weeks. The most important thing we can do is to keep our distance from each other, both by coming in contact with fewer people and maintaining at least two metres distance from others if we must see them.”
Acting Director of Public Health for the region, Dr Anne Sheahan, said that while there is evidence of some community transmission of the virus, many recent confirmed cases can be traced back to transmission within family groups and groups of friends.
“It is crucial that we all act right now to reduce the number of people we come into contact with. I appreciate that this is a big ask of people, but the alternative is that we see a continued rise in the number of cases,” she said.
Dr Sheahan said that one of the most important things people can do is keep an eye out for symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of smell, loss or change to sense of taste), then take immediate action.
“Isolate yourself from others and phone your GP for advice - remember that a referral and test for COVID are free and you do not have to be registered with a GP,” she said.
The HSE, local authorities and An Garda Siochana have worked together since the start of the Covid-19 crisis to co-ordinate the community response, and this weekend they praised the people of Cork for everything they have done to keep communities safe.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Mary Linehan Foley said due to the continuation of the Covid 19 crisis “it is understandable that we are all experiencing a certain level of fatigue” but said people must remain vigilant.
“We are still in this together and must continue to protect our most vulnerable,” she said.
Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Joe Kavanagh added: “The people of Cork have shown tremendous resilience in the face of the challenges that Covid 19 has presented us with. As cases of the virus are rising, we now need to double down on our efforts to help protect those who are most vulnerable in our community."
Community supports are available in Cork through two free Community Call helplines, open 9am to 5pm, seven days a week:
Cork City Council - 1800 222 226 email@example.com
Cork County Council - 1800 805 819, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by text to (085) 8709010