Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer
Ireland has lurched into the 'dark red zone' due to the high level of Covid-19 circulating according to Dr Tony Holohan who warns that this puts unvaccinated or partly vaccinated people at a high risk of getting very sick.
The Chief Medical Officer and head of the National Public Health Emergency Team made the comment in the latest statement on the disease as August comes to an end.
The NPHET statement on August 27 says that the Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been notified of 1,875* confirmed cases of COVID-19. It added that, as of 8am Friday, 326 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 59 are in ICU.
Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, pointed out where Ireland is at due to the spread of the Delta variant.
“Ireland’s fourteen-day incidence is currently 531 per 100,000. This means that as per European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) categorisation, Ireland is now classified as dark red with incidence higher than 500 per 100,000. This demonstrates that there is presently a high level of virus transmitting in Ireland. With so much disease circulating in the community the reality is that if you are unvaccinated or not yet fully vaccinated you are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 and potentially becoming very unwell.
"Today and over this weekend, the HSE are operating walk-in COVID-19 vaccination centres right across the country for anyone aged 12 years and older. This increased opportunity for vaccination is a real sign of hope and I strongly encourage anyone who has not yet attended for their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to avail of these vaccination centres this weekend. Please make sure to take up your second dose of vaccine as soon as it is offered to you. These vaccines are very safe and effective at protecting against the worst effects of COVID-19.
"As we come into the weekend, it’s important to risk assess your plans, particularly if you are not yet fully vaccinated. Try to meet up in small groups, meet outdoors and avoid crowds if possible. If you need to meet indoors with others, please ensure the room is well ventilated. Please also continue to wear a mask where appropriate, wash your hands, manage your contacts, and maintain your social distance.
"If you are in an environment that feels unsafe then feel empowered to leave. Remember that if you have any cold or flu like symptoms at all, self-isolate - do not meet up with others or attend any events - and arrange a PCR test through the HSE as soon as possible," he said.
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