ACTING Director of Public Health Anne Sheahan has asked the people of Cork and Kerry to think carefully about the number of people they see in the run-up to Christmas.
Six further Covid-19 related deaths and 582 additional cases have been confirmed in Ireland today. There were 34 cases in Cork.
There has now been a total of 2,149 Covid-19 related deaths in Ireland.
As of midnight Thursday, December 17 the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) has been notified of 582 confirmed cases of Covid-19. There is now a total of 78,254 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland.
Dr Sheahan said that as we approach Christmas “it’s more important than ever that we all limit the number of contacts we have with others”.
“Not only does this keep ourselves and others safe, it also reduces the possibility that we will be a close contact of someone who has Covid-19, and need to restrict our movements for Christmas.
“As a result of becoming a close contact, you could go on to develop symptoms and be sick on Christmas Day,” she said.
Dr Sheahan said that the people of Cork and Kerry have put in “a tremendous effort” in recent months and have brought the rates of Covid-19 to amongst the lowest in the country.
“Working together, we have suppressed the virus in this region on several occasions. However, I am concerned at the trends I have seen in recent days.
“Cork and Kerry are at a very low base, but unfortunately we are beginning to see that trend reversing. With Christmas Day a week away, I am asking everyone to reduce the number of people they see in the coming days,” she said.
Dr Sheahan also reminded the public that taking risks this weekend will put everyone they meet over Christmas at risk also.
“It’s also useful to think about the impact that being diagnosed with Covid-19 would have on those close to us.
“Anyone who is a close contact of a case of Covid-19 needs to restrict their movements for 14 days, and this means they will be expected to stay at home and not see everyone this Christmas,” she said.
She said that the most important message to communicate is that anyone who is worried about spreading Covid-19 this Christmas should continue to maintain a physical distance of two metres, wear a mask or face covering where appropriate, wash their hands often, and observe cough and sneeze etiquette.
The Echo reported tday that the number of community referrals for testing for the weekend ending Sunday, December 13, was up 11% compared to the previous week in Cork.
There were 27,000 people referred for testing in the weeks ending November 29 and December 6 compared to the 30,000 referred in the week ending December 13.