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20 May 2022

Rise in Covid-19 cases in Longford reinforces need to adhere to public health advice

Testing

Des O’Flynn Chief Officer, HSE Midlands Louth Meath presenting the HSE National HR Award to members of staff at the Longford Covid-19 Testing Centre

Coronavirus is once again transmitting rapidly in communities and the HSE is urging people to continue to adhere to the public health advice as the rise in cases is placing huge stress on our healthcare services.

Des O’Flynn, Chief Officer of Midlands Louth Meath Community Healthcare Organisation said: “The current rise in cases of COVID-19 reinforces the need for all of us to continue to adhere to the public health advice. Everyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 should self-isolate until 48 hours after symptoms have substantially or fully resolved.

"I would also advise people to continue to manage risk for themselves and others who are more vulnerable, around them. You can do this by being fully vaccinated, wearing masks, physical distancing and avoiding crowds as well as maintaining basic hand and respiratory hygiene. I would urge anyone due a Covid 19 vaccine to come forward for vaccination.”

Dr Una Fallon, Director of Public Health Midlands says that the virus is still circulating and it’s important that every person in the Midlands benefits from the protection that vaccination provides.

Explaining the importance of seeking a booster as soon as possible, Dr Fallon said: “Because of the uptake in vaccines, we’re seeing a large degree of protection, a reduction in conversion of those high numbers of cases to those who become severely ill, as measured by hospitalisation or intensive care. Getting a booster brings your protection from serious illness and hospitalisation back up to 90% after two weeks.”

However, because of high levels of transmission in the community, Covid-19 is continuing to have an impact on services, as we continue to manage and care for patients with Covid-19 across all healthcare settings – hospitals, primary and community care, nursing homes, day centres etc.

Dr Fallon said: “Along with that, we have very significant numbers of HSE staff out with COVID – including doctors, nurses, therapy staff and healthcare assistants – and that is impacting on care. A collective national response and the proven effectiveness of vaccines in protection against illness and saving lives has allowed the lifting of nearly all restrictions. With the opening up of society in recent weeks, collectively we can turn the tide again by doing the basics - please wear your mask appropriately, practice hand hygiene and come forward for your booster or primary vaccine and isolate if symptomatic.”

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