The Health Minister is urging people not to panic, following confirmation of four cases of Coronavirus in North Clare.
It’s now known that three schools here, as well as a number of public facilities have been closed today, after four people from the same family tested positive for COVID-19.
The Two males and two females affected are a family living in North Clare, who have recently returned from Northern Italy.
They’re now receiving treatment in hospital, and the HSE is advising that efforts are underway to identify people they may have come into contact with since their return.
It’s understood that three schools are closed today. At least two of them will remain closed for a fortnight, as a precautionary measure.
Students from other primary and secondary schools have been told to stay at home, after they came into contact with students from the affected schools, while number of other public facilities have also closed or have restricted access.
The HSE is making direct contact with the schools and facilities in question.
One of the four confirmed cases is understood to be a healthcare professional, but Director General of the HSE, Paul Reid has refused to confirm this, saying the patient is entitled to anonymity.
The Health Minister says schools and businesses shouldn’t close over coronavirus unless they’re told to do so.
Simon Harris is urging people not to panic and says the response will be appropriate.
Anger has been expressed in some quarters over the lack of clarity from the Department of Health on the confirmed cases.
A press conference is due to be held this afternoon by the Department’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan and Ennistymon Fine Gael Senator Martin Conway hopes more will become clear then.
Dr Máire Finn Of Ennis Medical Centre says the public CAN have trust in the system.
She has this advice for anyone with concerns.
These four cases are now among a total of six cases now confirmed in Ireland.
People are being reminded to take measures to stop the spread of coronavirus.
The illness is most likely transmitted through cough droplets, with hand washing one of the most effective ways of preventing contamination.
It should take 20 seconds to wash your hands properly or the length of time it takes to sing happy birthday twice and to use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
Anyone with concerns about infection are being advised to contact the HSE Helpline on 1850 24 1850, or to phone their own GP.