HSE, An Garda Siochana and Mayo County Council urge the community across Mayo to stay at home and protect themselves and each other
The HSE has joined with the Mayo County Council and the Gardai in the county to appeal to the people of Mayo to help prevent the further spread of COVID 19.
The three agencies have come together to appeal to people to follow the public health advice and stay at home to protect themselves and each other given the significant and sustained increase in the number of confirmed COVID 19 cases in the county. Speaking as one in a special appeal the three principle agencies say the recent rise in figures for those contracting the virus in the county is extremely concerning.
Together we are urging everyone across Mayo to stay at home, protect themselves and each other and protect the health services.
The rollout of the COVID 19 vaccination campaign has now begun in the county and we are reminding everyone of the importance of ensuring older and vulnerable people are kept safe, so that they can avail of it in the coming weeks.
Commenting Dr Breda Smyth, HSE Director of Public Health in the West said “Over the last two weeks in particular we have seen a really worrying increase in the numbers of people being diagnosed with COVID across county Mayo but in particular Ballyhaunis, Ballina, Belmullet, Castlebar and Claremorris. In the two week period between December 21st and January 3rd there were 862 confirmed cases of COVID 19 in Mayo. When we look more closely at the data we can see a steep increase in the number of confirmed cases in the county since December 26th. Remember COVID 19 is highly contagious and you can be infectious without having any symptoms. Now more than every we are asking the community across Mayo to stick to the advice and stay at home where possible, avoid unnecessary interactions and protect each. Our individual actions do matter and they all count”.
Tony Canavan CEO of the Saolta Group which has responsibility for the hospitals in the West and North West added, “We have seen a very significant increase in the number of patients hospitalised with COVID 19 in Mayo University Hospital. In one week from December 29 to January 4th the number of patients in Mayo University Hospital increased from 19 to 50. It is inevitable that the higher level of COVID 19 infections in the community, the greater the pressure on the health services. The team at Mayo University Hospital are doing all they can to ensure that they can continue to treat both COVID 19 and non-COVID 19 patients safely and quickly but they need the community in Mayo to play their part also and stick to the public health advice and stay home where possible to reduce the levels of COVID 19 in the community”
Breda Crehan Roche, Chief Officer Community Healthcare West said, “This disease is now rampant in our communities – our primary and GP services are under relentless pressure. COVID 19 Test Centres are very busy and with increasing community transmission of COVID 19, the positivity rates are increasing every day. Thankfully there is hope and light at the end of a dark number of months, as we in Community Healthcare West are delighted to commence the rollout of the COVID-19 Vaccine in our long term residential care facilities for older people with St. Augustine’s Community Nursing Unit, Ballina this week. However, we are asking everyone in the community to behave as if they are a close contact, it is now more important than ever, to stay alert, play your part, stay apart, wash your hands, cover coughs and sneezes and stay home”.
Chief Supt Tony Healy, Mayo Garda Division is asking the public to follow the restrictions imposed under Level 5 of the Plan for Living with Covid-19 amid rising numbers in Mayo and across the country. “An Garda Siochana has also introduced a range of additional measures to support the Government’s Level 5 Plan for Living with COVID-19 as announced on Wednesday. These measures include additional static checkpoints on national routes under Operation Fanacht, continued engagement and high-visibility patrolling in public areas such as parks, beaches and other recreational areas.
“Covid-19 is in our communities, and a community effort is needed now more than ever to suppress this virus and to bring it back under control. We are asking people to stay at home unless such journeys are essential. Reduce your contacts to the bare minimum. Maintain social distancing when in company. Continue regular handwashing. The Covid-19 pandemic remains a real threat to every one of us and particularly the most vulnerable in our society. By taking these steps, we can help protect our loves ones, our neighbours, and our communities”.
“As a community based police service, Gardaí in Mayo will continue to maintain personal interactions and where needed we will continue to assist and support people. Local Gardaí are here to help. Whether that entails collecting prescription, or fuel, or providing a socially distanced chat. If you or someone you know requires assistance please do not hesitate to contact your local Garda station. ”
Peter Duggan, CE (Interim) of Mayo County Council said, “We must work together to curtail the spread of Covid-19. This is a critical time. I would urge everyone across Mayo to stay at home. You’re not just protecting yourself and your family, but you are protecting the most vulnerable in your community. For any member of the public who may need support at this time, our Community Call line remains open 7 days a week on (096) 906 4660. It is incumbent upon all of us to step up and play our part . We know people of Mayo have track record in working together to get things done. This is our time to do just that. Mayo County Council will continue to work closely with the HSE and An Garda Siochana to combine our efforts in protecting Mayo people during this unsettling time of Covid-19”