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54 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed

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COVID-19 update Monday (March 16)
 

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) has announced this evening that there's 54 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland.

The new cases are made up of 30 males and 24 females.

* 41 are associated with the east of the country
* 11 are associated with the south
* 2 are associated with the north/west of the country.

To date there have been two deaths associated with COVID-19 in Ireland.
There are now 223 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland.

The HSE is now working rapidly to identify any contacts the patients may have had, to provide them with information and advice to prevent further spread.

The National Public Health Emergency Team met today (Monday), and made the following decisions:

* all Irish residents are advised against all non-essential travel overseas at this time until March 29
* all persons, including Irish residents, entering the country from overseas should restrict movements for 14 days, if showing no symptoms. This does not apply to Northern Ireland
* NPHET strongly recommends against leisure cruise ship travel

Today, the WHO called on all countries to test every suspected case of COVID-19. There are now five hospital sites around the country (in addition to the NVRL) providing testing. This number will increase over the coming week. Additional laboratory capacity will be accessed as required.

"We are working closely with ICGP to manage the rapid increase in requests for testing,” Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer, HSE said.

“If you think you have symptoms of COVID-19, self isolate and phone your GP, who will assess your need for a test. We ask people to be patient as we increase the number of staff and testing centres to accommodate the increase requirement for testing.”

Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, added; “The behaviours we adopt in the next seven days will form the template for how we interrupt the spread of this virus over the coming months. We need to sustain social distancing, respiratory hygiene and these new ways of behaving if we are to succeed in minimising the threat posed by COVID-19."

Research published today by Amárach has shown that 84% of the population know the symptoms of COVID-19, more than three quarters (78%) are staying at home more often and 45% of all employees have started working from home.

"These findings are very positive and demonstrate the efforts that so many people across society are making to protect our communities,” Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said. “The challenge now is build on and sustain this momentum over the coming weeks.”

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County Board open to GAA museum proposals

By Sean Moriarty The Kerry County GAA Board said it would operate “an open door policy” for any plans to build a GAA museum in the county. There have been talks at a political level to build such a museum in Kerry with political rivals in Killarney and Tralee both pushing for it to be built […]

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By Sean Moriarty

The Kerry County GAA Board said it would operate “an open door policy” for any plans to build a GAA museum in the county.

There have been talks at a political level to build such a museum in Kerry with political rivals in Killarney and Tralee both pushing for it to be built in their home town.

Before he retired from politics in April, Michael Gleeson was campaigning to build a GAA and cultural museum on the grounds of Fitzgerald Stadium.

His campaign goes back several years before the recession set in, with a €0.5 million bridging loan secured from Croke Park along with funding from Fáilte Ireland. That funding was lost with the onset of the recession before 2010.

Tim Murphy, the outgoing chairman of the Kerry County Board, has confirmed to the Killarney Advertiser that no approaches have been made to the County Board at executive level during his five year stint at the helm.

However, he said the Board would be open to such approaches provided there is sound financial planning behind the project in place.

“The first and most important aspect is the capital funding and my understanding is there needs to be Fáilte Ireland funding in place first,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. “If it gets up and running, there needs to be very clear talks with all stakeholders so everyone knows each others expectations. A museum attracts footfall, but it costs a lot of money to run. We would offer an open door policy to all proposals but funding, first from a capital point of view and then from an operational point of view, will need to be in place.”

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Loreto pupils are happy to help save the planet

By Michelle Crean School pupils are fast becoming the next generation of environmentalists thanks to a brand new litter-picking campaign. Happy to help save the planet one bit of litter at a time are the children from Scoil Bhríde, Loreto NS, who are currently partaking in the Picker Pal Programme. It’s all about taking on […]

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By Michelle Crean

School pupils are fast becoming the next generation of environmentalists thanks to a brand new litter-picking campaign.

Happy to help save the planet one bit of litter at a time are the children from Scoil Bhríde, Loreto NS, who are currently partaking in the Picker Pal Programme.

It’s all about taking on a litter-picking adventure in their local area as well as learning songs, reading storybooks, filling in activity books while witnessing that their real-world actions are making a positive difference and inspiring others to join the movement.

Picker Pals is a unique primary school programme that gives children the tools and motivation to become the next generation of environmentalists, teacher Claire O’Meara explained.

“The Picker Pal Programme is a fantastic initiative and will go a long way to raise awareness of the impact litter has on our environment,” she told the Killarney Advertiser.

Real litter-picking is motivated by a Picker Pack made from upcycled dinghy sails and containing adult and child litter-picking tools, gloves, hi-vis vests and safety information.

“This pack is then taken home by a different pupil every week. That child takes their adult on a litter-picking adventure. The children then tell the story of their litter-picking adventures through art and writing. Raising awareness is an essential part of the solution to littering. Picker Pals gives young people the tools and positive motivation to steward their local environment and make the world a better place.”

The programme, run by environmental NGO VOICE Ireland, is funded by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications and various local authorities across Ireland.

Now in its third year of operation, over one thousand schools all across Ireland will be taking part in the Picker Pals programme this year. In Kerry, 29 schools are taking part, and Scoil Bhríde, Loreto is delighted to be included, she added.

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