HSE chief: more likely to have Covid now more than any other time during the pandemic

ireland
Hse Chief: More Likely To Have Covid Now More Than Any Other Time During The Pandemic
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Digital Desk Staff

Members of the public need to assume they have Covid-19 when they develop any symptoms and isolate before getting their test result.

As the Irish Examiner reports, that was the message from the head of the HSE on Wednesday at their weekly briefing.

Mr Paul Reid said the level of transmission is now so high that people are more likely to have Covid-19 than at any other time in the pandemic.

He said testing will continue but warned the system is nearing capacity.

“The next big drive to bring it (transmission) down is public actions not testing and tracing. You just can’t build capacity to trace and follow what is happening in the community right now,” he said.

The HSE has not yet finalised where mass vaccination centres will run for the majority of people later in the year.

Close contacts

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Residents and staff at 20 nursing homes will receive the first dose of the vaccines next week, with further roll-out across 580 homes to be confirmed.

National Lead for Testing & Tracing Niamh O' Beirne said HSE contact tracers had their busiest 24-hours yesterday, calling 2,000 people with Covid-19 and 9,000 close contacts.

She said the number of close contacts continues to rise, the average is now 6.3 per Covid-19 case.

“What is also rising is the number of people with higher close contacts, people with 15 and many people with 30 close contacts,” she said.

HSE chief operations officer Anne O Connor said there continues to be a lower number of older patients admitted to hospitals this year compared to last year.

She said there are now no waiting lists for home supports in some regions, thanks to the increased health budget allocated this year, and the number of patients in hospital waiting to be transferred out is also down.

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