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Barry Cowen calls for more localised communication as Covid rates in Offaly the worst in Ireland

Fianna Fáil TD for Laois-Offaly, Barry Cowen is calling on the HSE and NPHET to increase detailed local communications to areas were Covid-19 cases are high.

Offaly has had the highest rate of Covid for a number of weeks with the 14-day rate now standing at 410.5 compared to the national rate of 155.3 and just 85 in Laois. There were 47 news cases in the county.

Deputy Cowen, who is based in Clara, said he spoke to the CEO of the HSE, Paul Reid on this issue over the weekend.

The Offaly TD commented, “There has been consistently high number of cases in Offaly over last number of weeks. Particularly so in the Tullamore electoral area.

“Local councillors are anxious and keen to help and address the increase in whatever way possible.  They are contemplating holding a special meeting to appeal to the public.

“It is my hope County Councillors and constituency TDs could be furnished with relevant stats and info relating to ongoing high numbers of daily cases in Offaly.

“It may be helpful to share such information concerning details of clusters and the contributing factors as interpreted by the considered opinions of public health staff for the area.

“It may be then that local representatives can use their influence and seek to exert leadership in efforts to assist authorities and communities in reducing these figures.

Deputy Cowen was informed by Mr Reid that “local communication is key” in these situations and that he had been speaking to the Taoiseach on this in recent days with the hope of obtaining such local data to aid the situation.

The Offaly TD has also requested a regionalised update on the progress of the vaccination rollout.

SEE ALSO – Talking Sport Podcast: Leo Turley on Laois memories, management and Laois Gaels

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