HSE team urges continued effort to stop spread of COVID-19

As NPHET meet this morning to discuss if further restrictions are required in counties like Roscommon, Hospital and Community Health Services Managers in the West, together with their colleagues in Public Health have reiterated the appeal to everyone living and working in counties Galway, Roscommon and Mayo to continue with their efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Commenting, Dr Breda Smyth HSE Director of Public Health for Galway, Mayo and Roscommon said, “There is a significant and concerning increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases being reported across counties Galway and Roscommon in particular. Now more than ever we must double down on our efforts to contain the spread of this virus. We are appealing to everyone, but particularly communities across Galway and Roscommon, to continue with their efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19. I would urge young people to meet in small groups, stay apart and download the COVID Tracker app. Also, take additional precautions when visiting our older friends and family members. There is still time to get the virus back under control in these areas and stop the spread of this highly infectious disease in our communities. We all need to continue to work together in the coming weeks to minimise the spread of the disease in our homes, our communities and our workplaces. I know it is difficult but we have to stay united in our efforts to tackle this infection and know that the actions of each and every one of us have a part to play in reducing the spread of COVID-19.”

Tony Canavan, CEO Saolta University Health Care Group said, “We all know what we need to do to stay safe and protect those around us. Keep a 2m distance, reduce social contacts, wear a face mask, cover coughs and sneezes and stay at home and contact your GP if you start to feel unwell. We have seen worrying increases in the rate of COVID-19 in parts of our region and I am appealing to everyone on behalf of hospital services to follow the public health guidance.”

Breda Crehan-Roche, Chief Officer HSE Community Healthcare West added, “Drive-through test centres for COVID-19 are available in counties Galway, Mayo and Roscommon. If a person suddenly experiences one of the following symptoms: fever, cough (this can be any kind of cough, not just dry) shortness of breath, loss or change to their sense of smell or taste, they should self-isolate, phone their GP straightaway to discuss their symptoms and the GP will decide whether they need a test for COVID-19. Their test and GP assessment will be free of charge. If they don’t have a GP, any GP can arrange a test. The GP out-of-hours services can also arrange testing. Getting an early diagnosis of COVID-19 means they can get the help they need and take steps to avoid spreading the virus if they have it.”

Chris Kane, Hospital Manager Galway University Hospitals added, “Our healthcare staff are the front line in the fight against COVID-19, particularly our ICU staff. We are doing all we can to ensure that we are in a position to treat both COVID-19 patients and non-COVID patients as safely as possible. We have worked really hard to reinstate elective procedures and clinics that were deferred because of COVID-19 earlier this year. We want to be able to continue to see and treat patients quickly and safely. As numbers increase in the community, the pressure on healthcare workers and frontline services intensifies. We need everyone to follow the HSE’s public health advice and help us maintain essential health services for the people of county Galway and the wider West and North West region”.

Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil Senator Eugene Murphy has made a special appeal to teenagers and young people to avoid house parties or large gatherings. “I know a lot of young people are adhering to the rules but for those that are not please avoid house parties or large gatherings if not for yourselves do it for your grandparents or elderly neighbours……small changes CAN make a big difference,” said Senator Murphy.

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