Cavan people urged to reduce contacts

The country's recorded record Covid case numbers.

People in the region are being urged to limit their contacts over New Years as the country sees a dramatic increase in Covid cases.

The Department of Public Health North East is advising people in counties Cavan, Monaghan, Meath and Louth to limit their contacts over New Year’s Eve and not to socialise with large numbers of people over the coming days.

It says the Omicron variant has led to “a very rapid increase in cases of Covid-19 across the country over the last seven days” and the local region has been “significantly affected”.

The HSE says one in every 10 people in parts of the North East have tested positive in the last 14 days, meaning if you meet up with nine other people on New Year’s Eve, at least one of you will likely have Covid-19.

The highest number of cases in the North East have also been reported in people aged between 20 and 40 years of age.

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.”

The HSE says 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.

It has this advice for the New Year’s period:

· Reduce your contacts

· Get vaccinated

· Self-isolate and test if you suspect COVID-19