Public Health Measures
We are experiencing an unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases in Ireland. Right now, we all need to stay at home and act as if we have COVID-19. Ireland is now in Level 5 restrictions. You can see the measures in place here.
Updates to COVID-19 Testing and Tracing
The HSE is making changes to the testing and tracing system, in response to the very high rates of positive tests seen over recent days, and the widespread increase in infections in our communities nationwide.
Main changes to COVID-19 Testing and Tracing:
-The HSE will not be referring close contacts for a test. This is so that people who are symptomatic can be prioritised and receive a test as quickly as possible.
-People who received notification by SMS that they are a close contact must restrict their movements for 14 days. If they develop symptoms, they should call their GP or GP Out of Hours service and arrange a test.
-The text message that is sent to close contacts will now advise every close contact that they should restrict their movements and if they show symptoms they should immediately contact their GP to arrange a test. Close contacts can also access our advice for them on this link https://hse.ie/cvdcc
This temporary measure is being implemented in consultation with GPs, to ensure those who have symptoms are tested as quickly as possible and that we can continue to try to reduce the spread of the virus.
COVID-19 Vaccination Programme
The COVID-19 vaccine is here, and since 29th December, the HSE has been giving the vaccine to people in the highest priority groups – frontline healthcare workers, and older people living in long-term care facilities.
The COVID-19 vaccine will offer you protection from COVID-19. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine should also protect you from the serious complications of COVID-19. Our aim in offering the vaccine to the population is to protect people and reduce the illness and deaths caused by this virus.
We have begun an information programme about the vaccine, starting with information for the first priority groups being offered the vaccine. Our information covers the topics that people told us were most important to them – when the vaccine will be available, who is in the priority groups, safety and long-term side effects, and how effective the vaccine is.
We encourage everyone in Ireland to read about the COVID-19 vaccine and to get their information from a factual, trusted source – our website on www.hse.ie/covid19vaccine is a good place to start, and you can find our vaccine information materials at www.hse.ie/covid19vaccinematerials
Our COVID-19 Vaccine radio ad started on 30th December across local and national radio stations. Listen to it here.
Public Health Information
As always, for the most up to date information and advice on Coronavirus, please go to: https://www2.hse.ie/coronavirus/ and https://www.hpsc.ie/a-z/respiratory/coronavirus/novelcoronavirus/. Clinical and professional guidance relating to COVID-19 is available on www.hpsc.ie where you’ll find up to date guidance for healthcare settings and non-clinical settings.
Please also check the Healthy Ireland site here with further resources and information on the Keep Well campaign.
You can view the latest information on how Ireland is responding to cases of COVID-19 here.
Ireland’s COVID-19 Data Hub is available here.