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observe protocols Limerick hurling fans urged to behave 'sensibly' during semi final to prevent Covid outbreak

There have been 490 covid cases recorded in Limerick over the past 14 days

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Limerick GAA chairman John Cregan. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Limerick GAA chairman John Cregan. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Limerick GAA chairman John Cregan. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

The Department of Public Health Mid-West and Limerick GAA have jointly appealed to the public to support Limerick’s senior hurling team “in a sensible manner” when Limerick play Waterford in the All-Ireland Semi-Final this Saturday, as the Treaty City and County faces the threat of “a serious outbreak” of COVID-19.

There have been 490 covid cases recorded in Limerick over the past 14 days, the vast majority of which are considered complex, meaning each case has had potential of causing many other cases in further transmission or outbreak, a Department spokesman said.

Public Health Mid-West is currently investigating a number of clusters and outbreaks in Limerick, including a complex community outbreak in Kilmallock; in workplaces; social activity connected to hospitality; long-term residential care facilities; among vulnerable populations; social groups; and multi-household outbreaks.

“Social gatherings where alcohol is consumed in excess remain the highest risk situations for spread of the virus,” the spokesman added.

Public Health Mid-West said that “a significant number of people aged 16 and older are still awaiting their second dose or waiting for immunity to kick in”.

The Department’s Dr Anne Dee, a specialist in public health medicine, said: “The current epidemiological situation, coupled with the level of vaccine uptake, means that social activity could result in a serious outbreak in the community.”

“This is why we urge people to socialise sensibly this weekend and to support the Limerick hurlers with solidarity for our communities and our frontline health workers. We are nearly at the finishing line, but we risk damaging that possibility by being careless too soon.”

“We also urge hospitality settings to fully and consistently adhere to the rules when it comes to confirming valid certificates of their patrons in order to limit the risk of infection among customers and staff.”

Limerick GAA County Board Chairman, John Cregan appealed to supporters to be sensible this weekend: “We have come so far in this pandemic and it’s fantastic that supporters will be in Croke Park on Saturday to cheer on the team. However, we would urge them and those watching at home to observe all COVID protocols.”

“We are acutely aware of the enormity of the work that all frontline workers have put in so far and we are hopeful that regardless of the result on Saturday that supporters wherever they watch the game from will stick to the COVID regulations,” Mr Cregan added.

Public Health Mid-West has also urged people in the Ennis area of neighbouring county Clare, “to be extra vigilant and to avail of free COVID-19 testing if they are experiencing symptoms or feel they have been exposed to risk in the past 14 days”.

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It confirmed “a steady increase in COVID-19 cases in Clare in the past 14 days, with 164 cases detected in the same period”.

“This day last month, there were 79 cases detected in Clare in a 14-day period,” added a spokesman.

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