Director of Public Health Dr Anne Sheahan has asked the people of Cork to protect their progress in reducing the incidence of Covid-19 over the May bank holiday weekend.
Speaking ahead of the upcoming bank holiday, Dr Sheahan said that they are often a time when people meet up with friends or families indoors but asked people to remember that when it comes to stopping the spread of Covid-19, “it’s always safer to be outdoors than indoors”.
“Large indoor gatherings just aren’t possible yet, even though I am aware how difficult it is to stay apart,” she said.
Dr Sheahan said that public health experts understand that it’s tempting to meet up indoors but asked people to Hold Firm for another few weeks.
“If we continue to work together, I am hopeful that we will be able to enjoy more time with friends and family this summer, something that we haven’t been able to do for many months and which we all miss.
“I know that people of every age group are looking forward to socialising but it’s not yet safe or possible to meet up indoors as visits between households greatly speed up the spread of Covid-19.
While the numbers of people vaccinated are increasing, we need to remember that many vulnerable people still don’t have a full level of protection.
“We are fortunate in this region to have so many wonderful outdoor amenities. Just remember that if you are meeting another household outdoors this weekend, please continue to keep a two-metre distance,” she said.
Covid-19 rates across Cork have remained stable and Dr Sheahan appealed to the public to keep up that hard work that has got Cork to where it is now since Christmas.
“This region is doing very well. There will be some bumps in the road, and it is inevitable that we will see occasional clusters. It’s really important that we focus on containing any such clusters, rather than blaming any community or individual.
“If everyone makes sure they are tested at the first sign of symptoms, and if everyone avoids risky indoor interactions, then we will continue to contain these inevitable outbreaks.” Dr Sheahan said she was pleased this week to see some sporting activities return, including some outdoor training for children in non-contact pods of 15 children or fewer.
I was very encouraged to see children returning to training outdoors, and I want to reassure parents and communities that as long as sensible precautions are in place, this is a relatively low-risk activity.
“This gradual return to normal life is important for us all, particularly young people. It’s important that we all continue to work together to protect the progress we have made,” she said.
Dr Sheahan appealed to the public to contact their GP immediately if they suspect they have any Covid-19 symptoms.
“If you have symptoms, then it’s really important that you get tested as quickly as possible. A test is free and can be arranged very quickly through your GP. We are aware that sometimes we decide to ‘wait and see’.
"As we’re so close to bringing Covid-19 under control in this region, it’s important that you ask for a test as soon as you have symptoms, and that you stay at home in your own room while waiting for the test and the test result," she said.