Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn has issued a stern warning to the people of Laois, Offaly and Kildare at tonight’s Department of Health press briefing.
Dr Glynn says that in the last 14 days, almost half of Ireland’s total cases have been located in these three counties.
He said that just moments ago, the National Public Health Emergency Team had been notified of ‘a serious amount of new cases’ in the three counties.
While they are not included in today’s figures, Dr Glynn took the unprecedented step of warning people they were coming and urging them to act accordingly if they experienced symptoms or had been in touch with a confirmed case.
He said: “NPHET has been informed of a serious amount of additional cases across the counties of Laois, Offaly and Kildare.
“These cases have been notified today and will form part of the official numbers which will be reported tomorrow.
“While contact tracing is ongoing, they do come on the back of an already significant number of cases and clusters in these counties.
“Over the past 14 days, 226 cases have arisen in Kildare, Laois and Offaly. These represent almost half of all cases in Ireland in this period.
“GPs have been written to highlight these concerns. NPHET will provide more specific details tomorrow.
“But for now, we are advising everyone in Kildare, Laois and Offaly, needs to pay particular attention to any new symptoms such as cough, fever, shortness of breath or loss of taste or smell.
“If you have these symptoms, you should immediately self isolate and contact your GP regarding a test. If you are informed you are a close contact of a test, please come forward and take up the offer of a test.
“In addition, people in this region should double down on basic health measures that are so important. Always keep a distance of 2 metres, do not go into crowded spaces, wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds at a time and wear a facecovering where necessary.
“It is strongly recommended that those aged 70 or over and living in Laois, Offaly or Kildare, that you now limit the number of people that you meet for short periods of time and remain physically distanced.
“Where at all possible, avoid public transport.
“NPHET will continue to monitor this situation.”