Two Hours, One Life


Dr Cillian De Gascun, Director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory

This morning.

On RTÉ Radio One’s Today with Sarah McInerney...

Further to confusion concerning the risks of  having the same people in the same room for a meeting for over two hours, Dr Cillian De Gascun, Director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory, said:

“So I think there are two separate issues which may have become conflated. So firstly, the two-hour is public health guidance around people who are gathered in an enclosed space together in essence.

“So I think the analogy that I would kindly use is…members of the royal family don’t travel together in case something terrible happens and you knock out the whole family together.

So what we’re suggesting from a point of view of public health guidance is that if you’re gathered in a room of people for more than two hours, if one of those individuals subsequently becomes a confirmed case of Covid-19, everybody in that room then, if one of them subsequently becomes a confirmed case of, will be a contact and therefore will have to self-isolate for 14 days or two weeks.

“….so if they’re very senior individuals or if they’re providing a very key role in the organisation, then that key role has to stop for two weeks.

That’s really where the guidance comes from and that’s why in the context of the committee was the idea of not having the Chief Medical Officer, the CEO of the HSE and the Secretary General of the Department of Health all taken out of commission at the same time, should a case be reported in the Dail.

“So what we’re suggesting is that the work day can continue as normal but in order to manage the risk to an organisation is that what you might do, is that people working in groups that can function together would also, if one individual in that group should subsequently become unwell or should become a confirmed case and the rest of the group has to self-isolate as close contacts, that your whole organisation is not impacted by that single case.

So it’s really about having, you know, staggered working hours, perhaps shift work, that people would take breaks at different times but perhaps with the same individuals with whom they’d be working. You wouldn’t have a single individual perhaps like say a management figure who would cross over, across the two or three different shifts of different groups of people because then if that person becomes infected then you lose your whole team.

“So that’s really where the two hours comes from.

“So it’s certainly safe to work with people for more than two hours in the same physical location. But, as I said, we’re trying to minimise the impact of a single case on the running of an organisation.”





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14 thoughts on “Two Hours, One Life

  1. Holden

    “Dr Cillian De Gascun, Director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory” surely not a real person but a character from a Dan Brown novel.

    1. Jasper

      Ah, good ol’ Dan Brown, the two-handed, human, man. Writer of books, with pages, adorned with letters.

  2. Janet, I ate my avatar

    the two blenders for Bombay gin don’t travel together either, I prefer this example

  3. Tony

    So why do people explaining things start every sentence with ‘so’ now?
    So that’s really annoying.

  4. V now a very Public Juridic Person of Pontifical Right.

    The new
    I’m out of Hours
    Dog ate my homework
    Tachograph Over the Limit
    Max Head Room
    Credit Limit exceeded

    Although I do like the Royal Family one the best

    I fully expect to see this exploited and utilised beyond all sense of doing a days work by our Politicans the most tho

    especially FF FG and their Gene Pool Indos

    Jaysus oul Dara Murphy got out of it at the right time in fairness

    Although I’d say our Judiciary will give our elected class a run for their money right enough

    1. A Person

      Yep, nobody has died, let’s not take precautions. Let’s just be key board warriors and slag off all decision makers. Oh, and we must not have sympathy for front line workers, or indeed criticise any political parties who have run a mile from this – SF, Soc Dems, PPP, Solidarity etc. Why don’t the later and you all knowing commentators come up with an alternative to the current fight against the virus? I’d prefer experts to contribute as opposed to “someone (i.e. Trump) said such and such”.

      1. Johnnythree

        ‘Oh, and we must not have sympathy for front line workers’ – They are doing a few good tik tok memes in fairness. Yawn. The hospitals are empty, never got to capacity, and ICU didn’t either. But they did kill off a good share of the inconveniently old in care homes, enter into a hospital agreement that is highly expensive and lock down the country for what? The alternative is not lock down. it is that simple. Really.

      2. V now a very Public Juridic Person of Pontifical Right.

        Ah would you give over

        I never said anything about not taking precautions

        and if I was taking the weewee at all it was that some essential workers are so essential they can only be exposed to 2 hours work

        whereas there are 1000s of others out there on 12 plus hour shifts, and far more exposed to the virus
        but shur
        they’ll hardly get away with an out of flying hours since they’re just as likely to be on zero hour contracts

        we’re all this together my whole

        1. A Person

          Go on then back that up. Who is only doing 2 hours work? Who is doing the 12 hour shifts and far more exposed? If you can provide a proper answer that nobody has died, I will “give over”. You guys sound like Trump in Feb.

  5. Kim The Cardassian

    Going to go out on a limb here with this. Bear with me. I’m pretty certain one of the people in the room has to have Coronavirus in the first place. Given the statistics we are being presented with right now it would seem that the likelihood is quite small indeed.

Comments are closed.

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