The Department of Public Health Northeast is advising people in counties Louth, Meath, Cavan and Monaghan to limit their contacts over New Year’s Eve and not to socialise with large numbers of people over the coming days.
There has been a very rapid increase in cases of COVID-19 across the country over the last seven days mainly due to the spread of the Omicron variant, and counties in the North East have been significantly affected.
One in every 10 people in both Louth and Meath have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
This means that in these counties if you meet up with nine other people on New Year’s Eve, at least one of you will likely have COVID-19 and could pass it to others.
The highest number of cases in the North East have also been reported in people aged between 20 and 40 years of age.
The Department of Public Health Northeast spokesperson said: "We need everyone in our community to help limit the spread of COVID-19 so that our most vulnerable are protected and our hospitals can function properly."
In addition to lowering your contacts, the best way to protect yourself, your friends and your family is to attend for vaccination. COVID-19 Booster Vaccination clinics are now opened to everyone aged 30 and older as well as groups such as pregnant women, and those with underlying conditions older than 16 years of age.
Walk in vaccination clinics are available in Dundalk.
Dr Augustine Pereira, Director of Public Health for HSE North East said: “The Omicron variant is extremely good at passing between people, and although there is evidence that those who are vaccinated and have received the booster are more protected from serious infection, the fact it is reaching staggeringly high numbers of people means that it is more likely to reach people who are most vulnerable and the unvaccinated.”
“I want to commend you all for your resilience through tough times this year. Some of you have lost loved ones, others their jobs or livelihood. Despite many personal struggles during 2021, we’ve also seen the best in humanity. The supports from volunteers, friends and neighbours as well as the public services, not least our frontline healthcare workers have made us proud as a nation.”
“Whatever your plans are for New Year’s Eve, please limit any contacts and if you can, stay home, stay safe and keep your families and friends safe, especially any vulnerable members of your family.”
To protect yourself, your friends and your family over New Year’s Eve remember:
· Reduce your contacts
· Get vaccinated
· Self- isolate and test if you suspect COVID-19
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