Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, is urging people to remain cautious about the spread of Covid-19, especially in the lead up to the reopening of schools.
“Though we have growing levels of vaccination across the population, there is now a very high level of disease circulating in the community. The Delta variant has enabled COVID-19 to regain a foothold in Ireland, which puts us all at risk as social contacts and mobility increase. We are closely monitoring the spread of the virus with some concern," he said.
"Vaccines will help us turn the tide, but we are not there yet. We need to give vaccines the time and space to build up levels of protection across all demographics so that we can continue to progress the re-opening of all sectors of society and our economy.
"Please get vaccinated as soon as a vaccine is offered to you. It is also very important that people receive their second dose of vaccine as soon as you are called to do so. You will be fully protected one or two weeks after your second dose, depending on which vaccine you have received.
"I am asking people to be cautious and to closely follow public health advice over the coming weeks, in particular in the run up to schools reopening in September.
"We all know what this means, and, more importantly, we know that by following the public health advice we can drive down incidence of COVID-19 in our communities. If you have any symptoms that indicate that you may have COVID-19 like cough, fever, headache, sore throat and blocked or runny nose isolate and get a test immediately. Make plans to socialise safely and risk assess as you go, meet up with others outdoors if possible, try to meet up in small groups and avoid crowds. If you do not feel safe, then leave.
"Please continue to wear a mask where appropriate, wash your hands, manage your contacts and maintain your social distance."
The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has been notified of 1558 confirmed cases of Covid-19 on August 16. 262 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 51 are in ICU.
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