Coronavirus in Cork – let’s do our bit to avoid a local spike in Cork this winter
As the number of reported coronavirus cases in Cork has risen gradually in recent times, we want to reinforce the importance of taking precautions as individuals to avoid a local spike in infections in Cork. Attention both here in Ireland, and across Europe, is turning towards making plans to avoid a second surge in Winter. At the same time, concern remains high nationally about local spikes in infections.
To minimise the spread of the virus, both now and in coming winter months, there are simple but effective steps we can take in our day to day lives. We thought that it would be useful to take another look at the key things we can do to minimise the chances of spreading the virus, to protect ourselves and others in Cork.
Living with the virus now and in coming months
Paul Reid (Health Service Executive chief executive) –
“…the reality is that what we are seeing in the country right now is probably what we are going to be living with for the future with this virus.”
Recently, experts have increasingly reinforced the message that it is not feasible to eliminate Covid 19 from Ireland. As entirely getting rid of Covid is looking increasingly unlikely, experts are reiterating that we must all learn to live with the virus. Unfortunately, local spikes are also likely to be a feature of life across the country in coming months.
In a Oireachtas Covid-19 committee meeting in August, the chief executive of the Health Service Executive Paul Reid explained that ‘local infections, followed by targeted response measures, is the new reality facing the country’. Mr Reid and other experts have been spreading the message that we are likely to be living with coronavirus for the foreseeable future with local spikes in infections likely – “We are going to see significant peaks, and, we hope, significant troughs, very soon and those changes may not always be national,” Mr Reid explained. “That is the new reality for us in terms of living with this virus and the transmission we have seen to date.”
Taking personal precautions to limit the spread of Covid
As we detailed in our recent article Staying Safe As Lockdown Is Eased, there are some simple but effective things we can do to minimise the risk of contracting or spreading the virus. Whether we are shopping, travelling or working, basic practices advised from the beginning of the Covid crisis still apply today. To limit the spread of coronavirus, the HSE continues to advise us to:
✓ Attend any tests that you are referred for – close contacts of confirmed coronavirus cases are referred for two tests.
✓ Stay at home if unwell – to prevent the spread of any infections that you’re carrying.
✓ Wash hands thoroughly and frequently – wash hand thoroughly, for about 20 seconds, with warm water, plus soap or sanitiser gel.
✓ Cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing – with a tissue or your sleeve.
✓ Throw away used tissues – and wash hands afterwards.
✓ Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects – with disinfectant.
✓ Avoid close contact with anyone who’s unwell.
✓ Take additional measures if you’re travelling – follow the advice by the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Currently, the HSE’s testing strategy is to refer close contacts of confirmed coronavirus cases for two tests, the first on day zero (‘day zero test’) and then one week later (‘day 7 test’). Of course, if you are referred for a coronavirus test, it’s really important that you attend.
As explained on the HSE coronavirus testing page, you may be assessed for a coronavirus test if you are in one of these situations:
- You experience the following symptoms without an obvious cause:
- Shortness of breath
- Loss or change in sense of smell or taste.
- You are a close contact of a confirmed coronavirus case – you will be phoned by the coronavirus contact tracing team. Even if you do not have symptoms yourself, a test will be arranged for you.
Read more about close contacts on the HSE website.
The Government’s current priorities for coronavirus
In the first week of August, the Government decided not to proceed into phase 4 of its roadmap for lockdown easing. Amid concerns about the continuing spread of the virus, both at home and internationally, five key priorities were outlined by the Government (up to 10/08/2020) –
- Face coverings must be worn in all shops, shopping centres and retail establishments. Retail staff are also required to wear a face covering, unless there’s a partition or more than 2 metres space between the staff and customers.
- Pubs, bars, hotel bars, nightclubs and casinos will remain closed. However, pubs currently serving food can remain open.
- Social visits to people’s homes should be limited to a max of ten people from no more than four different households.
- Current restrictions of 50 people in indoor gatherings, 200 at outdoor gatherings was extended until at least August 10th.
- All non-essential travel continues to be advised against.
Contact your local Cork pharmacist
If you are a local person in Cork who wants advice about Coronavirus or any other health concerns, call your local pharmacist here at Irwin’s pharmacy call 021 430 4165 or contact us online.
Get the latest official data about Covid 19 in Ireland
To get the latest coronavirus in Ireland, visit Ireland’s Covid 19 Data Dashboard. The information presented on the Covid Data Hub site is based on official figures provided by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre.