Call to Dubliners to redouble effort to slow spread of COVID-19
The elected leaders of the four Dublin Local Authorities, the Health Service Executive and An Garda Síochána today issued a joint appeal to citizens to redouble their efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 and work together to get Dublin down to Level 1 in the Government’s National Framework for Living with COVID.
An Open Letter to the citizens of Dublin has been signed by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Hazel Chu; The Cathaoirleach of Dún Laoghaire Rathdown, Cllr Una Power; The Mayor of Fingal, Cllr David Healy and The Mayor of South Dublin, Cllr Ed O’Brien along with the Director of Public Health for HSE East, Dr Deirdre Mulholland and An Garda Síochána’s Assistant Commissioner for Roads, Policing & Community, Paula Hilman.
The four local authorities, the HSE and the Gardaí are all members of the Eastern Regional Steering Group (ERSG) which has been co-ordinating support from the other agencies to the HSE since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March.
The Open Letter calls on Dubliners to take personal responsibility for their actions and work together to reduce case numbers, to decrease the rate of infection and to lower the numbers being admitted to hospital. Dubliners are urged to follow HSE Public Health advice and guidance in the ongoing battle against a dangerous enemy which is causing so much damage to people’s health, the Dublin economy and the way Dubliners live.
The letter states: “We already know that this disease shows no respect for your age, gender, for who you are, or where you live. We have got to view it as a dangerous enemy and work together to stop it sweeping through our communities and affecting the lives of our loved-ones, neighbours, colleagues and friends.”
The Open Letter was formally signed today at the Mansion House, Dublin, and will be conveyed to Dubliners via the websites and social media channel of the four local authorities. The four local authorities are also running a radio and digital audio campaign aimed at the changing the behaviour of 15-34 year-olds in Dublin towards the COVID-19 virus.
Today’s signing was hosted by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Hazel Chu, who said: “Aside from the obvious cost on us all as people, the last six months have been incredibly difficult for the economic life of Dublin. We all have family members, friends, and neighbours who have lost their jobs or businesses and are struggling to get by. Please think about what you can do to help tackle this virus so we can get back the Dublin we all know and love.”
Cllr Una Power, Cathaoirleach, Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, said: “I'm asking young people in Dublin to redouble their efforts to reduce social contacts to help stop the spread of this virus. Do the easy things right - wear a mask, wash your hands properly, maintain social distance and reduce your social contacts as much as possible. It's been hard, I know, and especially for young people working on the front lines and in precarious work. Unfortunately, the virus is spreading again, and we need to count on each other to do the right thing.”
Cllr David Healy, Mayor of Fingal, said: “As we head into Winter we need to be aware that taking responsibility for our actions in relation to COVID-19 will also help vulnerable members of our community. They are already trying to minimise their risk and we can reduce that risk further by following the public health guidelines and slowing the rate of infection. It is also important to ensure good ventilation of all spaces shared by people from different households and to wear masks when requested to do so.”
Cllr Ed O’Brien, Mayor of South Dublin County, said: “Everyone in Dublin will always be grateful to every frontline worker and volunteer who has worked tirelessly to keep us safe during this pandemic. But the best way we can all show that gratitude now is by going the extra mile to follow the guidelines and slow the spread of the virus. We are asking you all to be volunteers and to give up those social interactions, visits to our favourite places and impromptu social events so that we can again flatten the curve.”
Dr Deirdre Mulholland, Director of Public Health, HSE East, said: “If a person has symptoms of COVID-19 it is important that they contact their GP and follow advice. If our GP or Public Health advise us to isolate, or restrict our movements, it is important in order to break the chain of transmission that we follow that advice. For information on protecting yourself and others, please visit https://www2.hse.ie/coronavirus/.”
Paula Hilman, Assistant Commissioner Roads Policing and Community Engagement, An Garda Síochána stated: “Gardaí countrywide continue to work with our partners in the Local Authorities and the Health Service Executive to address the needs of vulnerable and hard to reach communities. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic our resources have focused on ‘Engaging, Explaining and Encouraging’ people we meet to adhere to the Covid Health Regulations. In situations where individuals or groups have been identified as vulnerable, Gardaí throughout the country have worked closely with colleagues in the Local Authorities, HSE and voluntary services to ensure that those identified have been contacted and provided with the support they need. As the circumstances change, Gardaí across the country are tasked with supporting local individuals and communities. We continue to liaise with our colleagues in the HSE and Local Authorities in order to provide an appropriate response to the community. Anyone who requires Garda assistance should contact their local Community Garda / Garda station directly or, in an emergency, dial 999 or 112.”
To protect yourself and protect others the HSE advice is to wash your hands properly and often. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze and put used tissues into a bin. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. Avoid close contact with others by keeping a distance of two metres between you and others.