As Ireland enters a crucial phase in the fight against the virus, the three principal response agencies that make up the Midlands Regional Steering Group (An Garda Síochána, the HSE and the Local Authorities, along with the ETBs and AIT) have thanked people for their work on stopping the spread of Covid-19.
Ahead of the May Bank Holiday weekend, representatives of, An Garda Síochána, the HSE and Westmeath County Council are appealing to everyone in Co. Westmeath to continue their impressive efforts.
In an effort to deter people from travelling more than two kilometres, the Council has closed many amenities and attractions. Pat Gallagher, Chief Executive of Westmeath County Council, has urged people not to allow everyone’s hard work to be undermined and to #StaySafe and, where possible, #StayAtHome.
Joseph Ruane, HSE Midland Louth Meath Community Healthcare, has acknowledged that the collective actions of communities in the region is clearly making a difference but it is crucial that everyone keeps up those efforts:
“We know it’s hard, especially in terms of being apart from families and friends but it is helping to protect and keep our communities - especially vulnerable people and healthcare workers - safe. I want to particularly appeal to young people - we in the healthcare community need you to keep that effort going for another while.”
Fergus Healy, Garda Chief Superintendent for the County Westmeath area, highlights that there will be a very visible Garda presence across the County Westmeath this weekend:
“Our members will operate an extensive network of checkpoints across the County this weekend, checking public compliance with the travel restrictions in place as part of Covid-19 public health guidelines. There has been very good compliance with the travel restrictions, and we want to thank the public for this. However, it is vital that this continues over the coming days and weeks. It will save lives. In particular, we would ask people who are thinking of travelling to parks, waterways, tourist locations or holiday homes outside of the two (2) kilometre limit, this weekend not to do so. If you are stopped at a checkpoint, you will be turned back.”
The Midlands Regional Steering Group urges everyone to please play their part, #StaySafe and #StopTheSpread this May Bank Holiday weekend.
The Covid-19 pandemic has seen very positive examples of joined-up working across the HSE, local government, An Garda Síochána, the Education sector and the Defence Forces. A dedicated community support call centre has been established in each local authority. This initiative forms part of a broader community response from statutory and voluntary agencies across the Midlands to support vulnerable groups of people most likely to be severely affected by Covid-19. Across the region the HSE are linking with local authorities who are acting as a central resource to link all vulnerable people into the volunteer structure for key service supports.
The Community Response Helplines continue to be available to people over the weekend. These helplines involve many community organisations and volunteers and can assist people who need additional support to adhere to the cocooning guidelines. The helpline in Westmeath is 1800 805 816 and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 7 days per week.
The HSE’s Crisis Management Team (CMT) includes participation from National Ambulance Services and Emergency Management, Environmental Health officers and the HSE’s estates (technical services, property and maintenance) and procurement (equipment and supplies) services are also involved – in addition to Midlands Community Healthcare (which delivers community/primary care, health and wellbeing, elderly and disability care and mental health services in counties Westmeath, Longford, Offaly and Laois).
As outlined at https://www2.hse.ie/coronavirus/, there are simple but very effective steps we all must take each and every day. They include:
The symptoms of this virus are a cough (this can be any kind of cough), shortness of breath, breathing difficulties, fever, high temperature or chills. If you develop symptoms you will need to self-isolate and contact your GP. The people in your household will need to restrict their movements. Go to https://www2.hse.ie/coronavirus/ for information about self-isolation and restricting movement. If you develop symptoms of coronavirus, phone your GP. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. The GP will assess you over the phone and give you the right advice.
Content Last Updated/Reviewed: 01/05/2020