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Coronavirus: 53 New Cases Confirmed Today

National news updates on Monday 31st August.

Latest figures:

There have been no new deaths reported to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre today.

There has now been a total of 1,777 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland.

As of midnight Sunday 30th August, the HPSC has been notified of 53 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There is now a total of 28,811* confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland. 

Of the cases notified today;

  • 28 are men / 25 are women
  • 75% are under 45 years of age
  • 27 are confirmed to be associated with outbreaks or are close contacts of a confirmed case
  • 14 cases have been identified as community transmission
  • 25 in Dublin, 11 in Limerick and the remaining 17 cases are located in Kildare, Longford, Clare, Cork, Kerry, Laois, Meath, Roscommon, Tipperary, Westmeath.

The HSE is working to identify any contacts the patients may have had to provide them with information and advice to prevent further spread.

The COVID-19 Dashboard provides up-to-date information on the key indicators of COVID-19 in the community.

Dr Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said; “This evening, I want to recognise the very significant impact of the measures on individuals, communities and businesses in Kildare over the past three weeks. The improvement in the epidemiological situation there is a testament to the willingness of everyone to adhere to the public health guidance and measures implemented.

“At a meeting of the National Public Health Emergency Team today, NPHET thanked people in Kildare – and in Laois and Offaly previously – for their forbearance and noted that their actions are a demonstration, and a further reminder, of what can be achieved through collective action as we continue to strike a balance between living our lives and behaving in a way that protects one another.”

Dr Siobhán Ni Bhriain, Consultant Psychiatrist and Integrated Care Lead HSE, said; “As we continue through the school year, we expect cases and these will be responded to rapidly, tailored to that outbreak and led by public health doctors. These public health doctors will communicate with school staff and parents as indicated.”

Rachel Kenna, Chief Nursing Officer, Department of Health said; “We can all support parents and school children in our communities by following public health advice. We all have a responsibility to keep our schools open by applying this advice to our daily lives. Remember the key protective behaviours, regular hand washing, physical distance, wearing face coverings where appropriate, reduce your social contacts, know the symptoms and know when to isolate.”

Dr Sumi Dunne, General Practitioner, said; “We are aware that this is an anxious time for parents and guardians. GPs across the country are here to support them. If you feel your child is unwell, outside of a blocked/runny nose and seasonal sneezing, please do not send them into school. Keep them at home, restrict your movements and make contact with your GP.”

*Validation of data at the HPSC has resulted in the denotification of 2 confirmed cases. The figure of 28,811 confirmed cases reflects this.

Killarney:

The head of the HSE says efforts to communicate with young people need to be redoubled, after the scenes witnessed in Killarney over the weekend.

Videos posted on line show large crowds gathered on the town's main street on Saturday night. 

Social distancing was largely absent as people drank and sang while others climbed on bins and phone boxes. 

HSE CEO Paul Reid says the behaviour was very unfortunate. 

Micro-Fund:

A new 15 million euro fund has been launched to help micro businesses impacted by Covid-19.

It means companies with less then 10 employees access loans of between 5,000 and 25,000 euro.

There's be no repayments or interest over the first six months, while the following six months interest will be refunded by government.

Chief executive of Microfinance Ireland, Garrett Stokes, outlines who can apply:

Concerts:

A ban on alcohol at music events and gigs is being considered by government as a way of allowing them resume.

Current rules mean 50 people are allowed indoors in the likes of museums, cinemas, theatres and art galleries, but all other events have a six-person limit.

According to the Irish Times, the Arts Minister's considering ways of increasing the levels of audience and artists at events, and is examining if a ban on alcohol could facilitate them being held.

House Parties:

Mid-ranking Gardaí says they're concerned government will introduce unworkable new laws in its push to crack down on house parties. 

Last week Cabinet rowed back on proposals to make it a criminal offence for more than six people to gather in a home.

Instead it's to remian a "civil offence" - a concept the Irish Council for Civil Liberties says is adding to the confusion. 

Antoinette Cunningham, general secretary of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors says they want to be consulted on any law changes that will involve Gardai: 

Buses:

Sinn Fein's calling on the Education Minister to ensure all children get bus transport to schools.

It's after reports a service for 200 students was scrapped at Confey College in Leixlip in Kildare because a private operator quit due to Covid restrictions.

The Government wants school buses to run at 50 per cent capacity over the coming weeks.

Deputy Darren O'Rourke says Minister Normal Foley needs to have a plan to keep school buses running:

Remote Working:

More than half of people working from home are sitting down for an average of 2 hours and 40 minutes longer per day compared to when they were in an office.

The Ipsos MRBI survey has prompted a warning from the Irish Heart Foundation about the increased risk of stroke and heart disease.

It's calling on workers to move for a minute each hour while they're working.

IHF spokesperson Tara Curran says people aren't being active enough:

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