Acting Director of Public Health Dr Anne Sheahan has said she is concerned about the spread of Covid-19 in workplaces in Cork and Kerry.
It comes as every local electoral area in the county recorded a significant increase in 14-day incidence rates as Covid-19 rates continue to increase.
Dr Anne Sheahan appealed to everyone to act immediately if they have any symptoms suggestive of Covid-19 by staying away from others and arranging a test as quickly as possible.
“We have seen an increase in cases in many areas in the last few weeks. I am particularly concerned by the number of cases spreading in workplaces.
Many of these cases could have been prevented if those with symptoms stayed away from their workplace or from social gatherings.
"With the contagious Delta variant now the dominant variant in Ireland, we can’t afford to take any chances.
“If you have symptoms, even mild ones, please don’t presume that it’s a cold or another bug. Don’t take a wait and see approach. Stay at home and arrange to be tested,” she said.
Dr Sheahan said parents should make sure that if their child has symptoms, they do not mix with other children and a test should be arranged as quickly as possible.
With children, it can be easy to dismiss symptoms as they are often very mild. However, your child may still spread Covid-19 to someone who is vulnerable.
"So if your child has symptoms, don’t send them to crèche or summer camp, don’t have playdates and arrange a test quickly,” she said.
Symptoms of the Delta variant include a raised temperature, a new cough of any kind, a feeling of shortness of breath and any change to your sense of taste or smell.
“In addition, with the Delta variant we have some reports that headaches, sore throats and runny noses are the more frequent symptoms,” Dr Sheahan said.
People are being advised to book a test through the HSE website where same-day appointments are usually available. Alternatively, GPs can refer their patients for testing.
Dr Sheahan said that while the continued successful rollout of the vaccination campaign is giving people understandable hope and confidence that people need to be vigilant and keep up protective behaviours, including mask-wearing, keeping distance from others and acting immediately if symptomatic.
She also advised people to get vaccinated as soon as possible and reminded people that anyone aged 16 or over can now register on hse.ie.