Michael Staines
Michael Staines

18.01 4 Jun 2021


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There is ‘no consideration whatsoever’ being given to a local lockdown in County Limerick, according to the Health Minister.

Stephen Donnelly was speaking after he met with the Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan and public representatives from the county to discuss the “significant increase” in cases there.

Limerick’s 14-day rate in the county now stands at 426 cases per 100,000 people and yesterday, Dr Holohan warned that the majority of the 800 cases reported there in the past fortnight were related to indoor gatherings.

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After the meeting, Minister Donnelly said the rate in Limerick is “simply too high and poses a serious risk to public health.”

“Public health doctors have told us that this spike is a result of indoor socialising and workplace outbreaks,” he said.

“Unfortunately, this sharp rise puts our hard-won progress against COVID-19 at risk. It is simply too soon to stop adhering to the public health measures that have protected us so well for so long.”

Speaking to reporters, he said capacity at Limerick’s walk-in test centre will be doubled from tomorrow - and another facility will also be set up next week.

Meanwhile, a new online referral system for testing will also go live tomorrow.

He said a local lockdown is not being considered at this point.

“There is no consideration right now whatsoever for any additional measures for the Limerick area,” he said.

“Now, as with any area in the country, this is not just specific to Limerick, additional measures are available – but nobody wants to go there at all.

“I have no doubt that what we will see in Limerick with community really stepping up is exactly what we saw in Donegal.

“Cases went down and they went down quickly I believe that is what were going to see in Limerick city as well.

He urged everyone in Limerick redouble their efforts.

“In the past we have seen Limerick’s ability to respond quickly to COVID-19 and effectively get the virus under control,” he said.

“We need people to harness the community spirit we have seen Limerick people display time and time again, to continue to protect our loved ones.

“This is a stark reminder for the rest of us across the country of the risk COVID-19 continues to pose.

“We cannot let our guard down now. All of our collective hard work and sacrifice has contributed to the success of our vaccination programme and the progress we have made so far with reopening our economy and society.”

He noted that the priority remains to suppress the virus until we have the vast majority of the population vaccinated.


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