Health Minister, Stephen Donnelly said it was vital to act and reintroduce restrictions in Laois, Offaly and Kildare.
“Following NPHET advice on Friday, the Government moved quickly to introduce additional public health measures in Kildare, Laois and Offaly.
“I fully understand the disappointment and frustration that people in these regions and beyond are feeling this weekend.
“It was vital to act now before the virus spread further into the community – to protect public health, to protect vulnerable groups, including those in nursing homes, and to keep the reopening of schools and the recommencement of health and social care services on track.”
Following the increase in COVID-19 cases in Kildare, Laois and Offaly in recent days, and the announcement of additional public health measures on Friday, a range of supports have been put in place to help contain further transmission and to provide support to those affected. These include:
Significant testing is underway across all facilities connected with outbreaks and all close contacts of those that have tested positive.
Local testing centres are open and additional pop-up centres have been put in place by the National Ambulance Service.
The HSE’s regional Community Response Teams are providing communications and any necessary support to Long Term Residential Care facilities in Laois, Offaly and Kildare, including all nursing homes, both public and private.
There is also ongoing communication with GPs in the area.
Isolation facilities are being provided for those who cannot self-isolate in their homes or communal settings.
HSE Public Health led local outbreak control teams are in place for all outbreaks and are actively engaging and coordinating with relevant agencies and facility management.
A proactive programme of serial testing of staff in nursing homes across the country will continue this week and a similar programme of testing in other congregated settings such as direct provision will commence shortly.
A National Standing Committee to oversee COVID19 cases and outbreaks in Food Processing Plants and the Construction Industry was established on Friday 7th August 2020 and met on the same day.
It will examine existing protocols and compliance measures to identify any additional control measures required and will also consider and recommend a future testing policy for workers in both these industries.
COVID-19 social protection supports are available to those needing to isolate or restrict movements.
“The HSE has put in place a range of additional supports for the region for the coming weeks, including additional testing and public health capacity, and isolation accommodation for those who need it.
“Outbreak control teams are in place for all outbreaks. The HSE has also established a National Standing Committee to consider and address matters related to the food processing and construction industries more generally given the recent pattern of cases.”
Minister Donnelly concluded: “I will continue to work with colleagues across Government to ensure that all measures are taken to support the people of Kildare, Laois and Offaly in the coming days and weeks.”