The Mid-West Major Emergency Management Group is calling on the people of Clare, Limerick and Tipperary to use the Easter break as an opportunity to stamp out Covid-19 in our communities, so we can reduce the chance of outbreaks in healthcare settings, workplaces, our homes, and schools.
The Mid-West Major Emergency Management Group is a strategic interagency group that includes Tipperary County Council, the HSE and An Garda Síochána, as well as local authorities in Limerick and Clare. It meets regularly to discuss operations in the Mid-West region since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
While infection levels are significantly lower than they were in January, progress in suppressing the virus has stagnated in the past two weeks. March 27th saw 65 new cases – the highest daily increase in the Mid-West region in a month.
There is no single cause for the current levels of infection. Some areas of concern include lax behaviours in offices, such as lack of mask-wearing and poor social distancing; indoor social gatherings among young people, such as birthday parties; lack of social distancing and mask-wearing on public transport; family gatherings; and household visits.
We acknowledge the fatigue felt by everyone as we mark a year of the pandemic this month, but we must remember that our efforts have helped prevent further illness and death. The Easter break is a time of year where people tend to socialise more, but our current level of infection means that extra socialising could soon leave us with increasing Covid numbers and a possible fourth wave, when our focus is to protect families and our most vulnerable.
Joe MacGrath, Chief Executive of Tipperary County Council acknowledges that this has been a challenging phase in the Covid19 battle, this weekend is not an occasion to relax our efforts. The 5km travel restriction continues to apply throughout Easter and it is important to adhere to the other Covid19 measures by maintaining social distance, wear face masks and wash our hands to supress the virus.
An Garda Síochána has advised that ‘Operation Fanacht’ will see a large number of static and rolling checkpoints across the county of Tipperary over the bank holiday weekend. Gardaí will be patrolling the parks, and beauty spots in Tipperary over the coming days and a Fixed Payment Notice of €100 can be issued to a person for travelling without a reasonable excuse.