‘The Delta variant spreads through close contact with others.’
That’s the warning from Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health as we head into the weekend amid a surge in cases of Covid-19 across the country.
More than 12,000 new cases of the disease have been reported this week and 244 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 52 are in ICU.
A further 1,818 new cases were reported in the past 24 hours, with HSE experts confirming that family gatherings and indoor get-togethers remain the riskiest settings for outbreaks.
“We are experiencing a rapid rise in the incidence of the disease across the country, with 12,348 cases reported in the last 7 days. This means that the virus is now circulating widely in our communities,” said Dr Holohan.
— Dr Tony Holohan (@CMOIreland) August 18, 2021
“While the vaccine programme continues, we need to allow time for the levels of immunity in the community to increase. The Delta variant spreads through close contact with others. Where possible, please continue to work from home and remember that small group meet-ups in outdoor or well-ventilated indoor spaces are safer for everyone.”
Dr Holohan said the risk of outbreaks in group settings, such as in workplaces or at social gatherings, can be minimised through strong adherence to social distancing, avoiding crowds, mask-wearing and good hand hygiene.
“If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, however mild, please ensure to self-isolate immediately and get a free test through the HSE as soon as possible.” he added.