Ahead of the introduction of Level 5 COVID-19 restrictions tonight (Wednesday), a joint statement has been issued from senior HSE management in the Cork and Kerry region saying they'll "make available every resource necessary to stop the spread of the virus".
The HSE area crisis management team for Cork and Kerry has met several times this week and has discussed the Government decision that additional measures are needed to contain the spread of COVID-19 across the country.
All HSE services in the region will continue to make available every resource necessary including:
- Additional COVID-19 testing is now taking place at a new pop-up test site on the Douglas Road in Cork city.
- The recruitment of additional staff for the testing system, allowing them to ramp up testing capacity significantly and offer a rapid turn-around on tests - 94% of referrals get a test appointment either on the same day or the next morning.
- Regional Community Response Teams are providing ongoing support to private nursing homes in the region.
- Precautions are in place in all healthcare settings so that vital health services can still be provided.
Health services across the region will remain open, and no one should delay seeking advice from any healthcare professional if it’s needed. Anyone with an appointment should presume that their appointment is going ahead unless told otherwise.
Chair of the HSE Area Crisis Management Team Michael Fitzgerald thanked the public for their support.
“We know that this re-introduction of restrictions will be difficult for the people of the region. However, we also know that taking action now is in everyone’s best interests. We know this is difficult, but we have suppressed this virus in the past and we can do it again if we work together,” he said.
“We in Cork Kerry Community Healthcare are prioritising the smooth running of the testing system. Appointments for tests are arranged very quickly, and the test itself is very fast,” he added.
Acting Director of Public Health for the Region, Dr Anne Sheehan, appealed to the public to isolate at home if they have any symptoms of COVID-19, and to present for testing if they are asked to do so.
“It’s more important than ever that anyone with any symptoms of COVID-19 isolates at home and phones their GP to arrange a test,” she said.
Dr Sheahan said that there is a clear trend in both Cork and Kerry in recent weeks of outbreaks linked to various workplaces, and reminded those designated as essential workers to make sure that they are protecting themselves and others while at work.
“It’s important to maintain a distance of two metres from others at all times, including at break times and while travelling to and from work. This is now even more important than ever for those designated as essential workers as they cannot continue their work if they become close contacts of confirmed cases.”
Dr Sheahan also stressed the importance of self-isolation for anyone who is referred for a COVID-19 test, waiting for the result of such a test, or has a positive COVID-19 test.
“If you are a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19, it is incredibly important that you come to the tests arranged for you. You may feel well but it is possible that you have the virus and are spreading it without knowing. Isolating when you are asked to do so, and completing two tests is the best way to be certain that you are not unwittingly spreading the virus,” she added.
Gerry O’Dwyer, CEO of the South South West Hospital Group said:
“The recent Government decision to move to Level 5 of COVID-19 restrictions provides a clear roadmap for everyone to follow in order to defeat the virus. However, while we await the impact of the restrictions which will hopefully ease pressure on our hospitals, we are appealing once again to members of the public who may be feeling unwell to contact your GP, the nearest urgent care centre or out-of-hours GP service before presenting at emergency departments. All our hospitals have clear pathways in place so that people can access the care they need, when they need it, but need the public’s support to ensure this access to patient care is not overwhelmed. “
Michael Fitzgerald reminded the people of Cork and Kerry of the important measures they can continue to take to stop COVID-19 spreading.
“We need to ask the people of the region to redouble their efforts when it comes to keeping their distance from each other; wearing face coverings; catching coughs and sneezes, and washing their hands,” he said.
NPWS survey to find out impact of fires
By Michelle Crean The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has commissioned a comprehensive survey on the impact of fires over the past four decades – in particular Killarney National Park in April. The tender, worth €300,000, and named ‘Study on the Impact of Fires On The Biodiversity of Killarney National Park’, seeks to find […]
By Michelle Crean
The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has commissioned a comprehensive survey on the impact of fires over the past four decades – in particular Killarney National Park in April.
The tender, worth €300,000, and named ‘Study on the Impact of Fires On The Biodiversity of Killarney National Park’, seeks to find out the biological impacts of the fires in the 26,000 acre park.
The fires in April burned from Friday night on April 23 until around 12pm the following Monday when they were finally brought under control.
Parts of the Park were scorched resulting in flora and fauna being wiped out. Some fires came as close as 10 metres to a church and school in the Black Valley area.
Fires raged near Tomies Wood and fire crews from five different districts quenched fires near the properties under threat. A real threat was for The Oak Woods but fire fighters managed to avert danger.
The fire is believed to have begun on the Kenmare Road area escalated by the strong winds.
“The purpose of this tender is to commission a comprehensive survey of the impacts, and the chrono-sequence of fire recovery or otherwise, on lands burned over the past four decades, as well as surveys in unburned areas, in order to assess the biological impacts of the fires, in particular the fire of April 2021, on the biodiversity of Killarney National Park,” an NPWS spokesperson told the Killarney Advertiser.
Killarney spin will bring comfort to patients
By Michelle Crean Ahead of this year’s ladies only 54321 Challenge a number of spinathons are taking place, including in Killarney town. Sunday, August 15 a group of 10 ladies plan a spinathon day in Killarney ahead of their four day epic adventure from Thursday, August 19 to Sunday 22. This year due to COVID […]
By Michelle Crean
Ahead of this year’s ladies only 54321 Challenge a number of spinathons are taking place, including in Killarney town.
Sunday, August 15 a group of 10 ladies plan a spinathon day in Killarney ahead of their four day epic adventure from Thursday, August 19 to Sunday 22.
This year due to COVID restrictions the 54321 team will run with two teams of five people, all female – who are raising funds for one single charity – Comfort for Chemo Kerry.
Their four day challenge will include a cycle the Ring of Kerry on day one (Thursday 19), a climb up Carrantuohil on day two (Friday 20), a cycle from Killarney to the foot of Cnoc Na Tobair and then climb Cnoc Na Tobair on day three (Saturday 21) finishing off with a cycle of the Skellig Ring on day four (Sunday 22).
In advance of the ninth annual challenge they will first participate in the spinathons at various locations to help raise much needed funds for this year’s chosen charity.
The first of the spinathons will take place on Saturday, July 31 in Listowel, Killorglin, Dingle, Cahersiveen. On the day volunteers will take to the spinning bikes from 10am to 5pm in different locations around these towns.
This will be followed by Killarney on Sunday, August 15, and Tralee on Saturday, August 28.
When choosing this year’s charity, organisers contacted a past participant and a dear friend, Mairead Dunphy from Glencar who is currently on her own journey with cancer.
“We wanted to show our support to Mairead and knowing that she would like to support those who have supported her on her journey so far, she had already being looking at ideas to raise much needed funds for Comfort for Chemo Kerry,” TJ O’Connor said.
“Please support Comfort for Chemo Kerry by giving what you can.”
For more information about the spinathons go to www.54321challenge.org or the Comfort for Chemo Kerry Facebook page for online donation information.
There’s also a GoFundMe page: ‘Comfort for Chemo Kerry – 54321 Challenge 2021’ which has a €20,000 target set up.
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