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Public urged to re-double efforts in fight against Covid-19 19.08.20

COMMUNITIES across Inishowen and County Donegal have been living with the Covid-19 pandemic for the past six months. We have all dealt with the severe restrictions of the earlier 'lockdown' measures that seen our lives, society and the wider economy almost brought to a standstill.
It was those severe measures, done in the interest of public health and keeping people safe, that guided our region through the first peak of Covid and kept the spread of the virus to a minimum. We have had several weeks of low transmission and our economy has re-opened across most sectors.
The past month has been very busy with visitors to the peninsula and there is a sense of some return to normality. It is well acknowledged that people are tired of living with such restrictions and they can only take so much. The huge compliance by most people has been acknowledged and much appreciated.

Three public sector bodies, An Gardaí, HSE and Donegal County Council, have been working together throughout this pandemic response. They meet regularly and co-ordinate actions in response to the current and emerging situations.
At this time the group would like to raise awareness of the need to re-double efforts by each person in our community to help protect and maintain the gains that we have made fighting the virus. We have come a long way together and we now need to try and avoid any sense of complacency as we potentially face a second wave of infection in the region. This is really important to avoid our health systems becoming over-whelmed.

Each adult must take personal responsibility for themselves and the people around them.
Businesses have been struggling through this period. Many have obtained government supports and have re-opened in a very trying economic climate.
All businesses are required to follow the public health advice and implement the measures to keep their employees and customers safe. Most businesses have made investments and sacrifices to meet the public health requirements and they are to be thanked for that.
However, it is disappointing that some businesses have not taken appropriate measures and have put their employees and customers at risk. There have been cases where this has led to Covid outbreaks and these businesses have had to be shut down. They have put people in danger directly and have also put the wider economy at risk of a regional lockdown. The irresponsible actions of a few can affect many. Customers should expect to see proper measures in place and should not accept anything less. They should only frequent places where measures are in place and they themselves feel comfortable and safe.

There has been an increase in house parties and in specific cases this has led to significant out-breaks in the northwest region. This is putting society and the economy at risk of a further lockdown. The public health guidance on gatherings is there for a reason – to keep us all safe. It must be followed.

The enforcement bodies are very active visiting premises and locations and will take all appropriate actions up to and including prosecution if warranted. However, enforcement will only bring results in a limited way and fighting Covid-19 requires a 'whole of society' response. We appeal to everyone to follow the public health advice, implement the Public Health Measures , take personal responsibility and help keep everyone safe.
Lastly, we remember all those who have died from Covid, many of whom were not in a position to fight it themselves and depended on the wider community around them. It is against this backdrop that we ask everyone to do what they can.
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