Dr. Mary Favier, President of the Irish College of General Practitioners
Morning Ireland on RTÉ Radio One.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Dr Mary Favier [Covid-19 advisor to the Irish College of GPs] said that despite soaring infection rates the health service is “holding steady, just”, but everything in the health system is under strain and said “we really do need to look at how we want to achieve things in the next number of weeks and into Christmas”.
She called for a return to social solidarity in the coming weeks, saying a peak in the current wave of infection might not happen before December.
Dr Favier said people need to look at how to manage social interactions and gatherings “and just try and do less in the next week or two”.
The Government is not actively considering a return to working from home full-time, the Minister for Health has said, adding that he has not received any advice from public health officials on this.
Govt not considering return to full-time remote working – Donnelly (RTÉ)
Via RTE News:
The Government is aiming to pass a single piece of legislation before Christmas that would combine the public health measures scheduled to expire on 9 February.
The measures include the requirement to wear masks in certain places and the rules around Covid passes for hospitality and international travel.
A Government spokesperson said the legislation is to ensure the State can react to the pandemic and Government would not look to have these additional powers for longer than necessary.
However, it does raise the possibility that the measures could be extended at some point beyond 9 February.
Govt legislation to combine emergency Covid powers (RTÉ)
Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly
Sure why not?
Via RTE News:
The Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has told the Dáil that “we have to be concerned that things will deteriorate further” as he proposed extending emergency legislation providing for face masks, Covid passes, enforcement powers and fixed penalty notices.
The laws were due to expire on 9 November.
Mr Donnelly proposed extending them for another three months until 9 February.
He said he could not commit with certainty what the trajectory of the disease would be.
Minister proposes extending Covid emergency legislation until 9 February (RTÉ)
…via RTÉ News:
The President of the Restaurants Association of Ireland said it is “the eleventh hour” and there are no full guidelines yet.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Mark McGowan – who owns Scholars Townhouse Hotel and Peggy Moores pub in Drogheda – said this is a “critical time of year” as they head into the Christmas period.
He said they are still unsure about things like multiple table numbers, and are hoping guidelines will be given out sooner rather than later.
“There’s a lot of decisions that have to be made,” he said. “We have to plan rosters, we have to plan the logistics of our table plans in the restaurant, and we may have to hire more staff as well.
Discussions on reopening guidelines ahead of Friday (RTÉ)
Via RTÉ News:
Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Minister Harris it is not a binary choice whether to continue to reopen or not, but to “ask the question is there a way to proceed with openings [while] retaining vaccine certs or face masks for a bit longer.”
The former minister for health said that a level of scrutiny of the options is required and the Government will consult with public health authorities ahead of any decision.
He also urged the 70,000 people who have had a first dose of Covid-19 vaccine to come forward for a second dose.
Mr Harris said that a more widespread booster [or third] vaccine programme could be beneficial…
‘Pause or proceed’, Harris says Govt must decide how best to ease restrictions (RTÉ)
Professor Fergal Malone (above), Master of the Rotunda Maternity Hospital, said If vaccination rates could rise it would be possible to ease restrictions.
The Rotunda Maternity Hospital in Dublin has defended its continuing restrictions around partner visits.
The Rotunda hospital said in a recent survey of inpatients showed that only 39pc were fully vaccinated, and only 41 pc of partners.
A statement said: “Therefore, with 60% of our patients and their partners not fully being vaccinated, this represents a very serious risk and a very different setting to that seen in other general hospitals and the wider community. Covid-19 still poses a serious risk to our patients, their babies, and their partners.”
The hospital said due to this, its patients are “more likely to be unvaccinated, and less likely to be able to physically distance while in the Hospital, they are also disproportionately more likely to be affected by Covid-19 infection.”
The Master of the Rotunda Maternity Hospital has said restrictions at the hospital could be loosened if there was a higher uptake of Covid-19 vaccinations among patients and visitors.
Professor Fergal Malone urged pregnant women and their partners to get the vaccine, saying the high vaccination uptake in the general population is not reflected in maternity hospitals.
If vaccination rates could rise, he said, then it would be possible to ease restrictions.
Low Covid vaccination rate among pregnant women and partners behind ongoing restrictions, Rotunda Maternity Hospital says (Independent.ie)
Rotunda Master urges vaccination uptake to ease maternity restrictions (RTÉ)
Dublin city centre last Saturday
Level 6, anyone?
Via the Irish Times:
CSO surveys showed that 71 per cent of people believe Level 5 was appropriate, while 10 per cent say it didn’t go far enough.
As of November 30th, department data suggests that 61 per cent of people approved of the Government reaction to the pandemic, while a further 23 per cent believed it didn’t go far enough.
On social distancing measures, 78 per cent of people believed they were about right, while 14 per cent thought they were too weak. There’s good evidence of social cohesion, as 61 per cent of people believe everybody or almost everybody was following guidelines.
Furthermore, there are strong indications that the public was willing to go further. Some 75 per cent of people thought Ireland was trying to return to normal either “a bit too quickly or “much too quickly”.
Silent majority supports goal of zero Covid (Tomás Ryan Irish Times)
In this short by Andrew Kasch for the Just Scare Me showcase, it’s October 31st 2020 and Michael Myers is having the worst Halloween ever, until…
From left: Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer, HSE; Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health; and Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health at a Covid press briefing last night
All indications point to the Cabinet giving the green light to begin the reopening of around 1,500 businesses on Monday.
These include homeware stores, garden centres, farmers’ markets, bicycle shops and motor garages, electrical and IT stores, as well as opticians.
Construction workers and gardeners are also set to be able to return to work on Monday.
As part of Phase One, people are advised to continue to stay at home as much as possible but can travel up to 5km from their home to exercise.
Outdoor spaces and tourism sites, along with golf clubs and tennis courts, can re-open as long as social distancing is in place.
Up to four people who do not live in the same household will be allowed to meet up outdoors, as long as they maintain a two-metre distance.
Cabinet set to approve easing of restrictions (RTÉ)