56 cases of Covid-19 linked to man who didn’t restrict movements after returning to Ireland from abroad 1 month ago

56 cases of Covid-19 linked to man who didn’t restrict movements after returning to Ireland from abroad

Positive cases emerged in 10 private households and a sports team as a result.

A man who failed to restrict his movements after returning to Ireland from abroad was responsible for 56 cases of Covid-19 in the Mid-West region, a HSE report has revealed.

A report outlining the response to Covid-19 across Limerick, Clare and North Tipperary up to September 2020, released by the HSE on Monday, reveals details of an index case which resulted in a total of 56 infections, affecting 10 private households and a sports team.

The index case was highlighted as an example of how Covid-19 can spread in the community and key details have been altered to protect the identities of those involved.

The report reveals that the index case was abroad on his holidays but he did not restrict his movements as per the current HSE guidelines when he got home.

He had mild symptoms, including a runny nose and a mild sore throat. He checked his temperature and it was normal. He felt reassured by this and socialised with a group of friends.

He later tested positive for Covid-19.

By this stage, he had already infected a number of his friends, three of whom went on to infect their families.

Another friend who he infected felt unwell and contacted her GP to arrange a Covid-19 test.

She had the test in the morning but by afternoon, she felt a bit better and decided to go to a friend’s party. After the party, she got her test result and it was positive.

By attending the party while waiting for her test result, she ended up infecting a number of other people.

The index case has a close extended family who visit each other’s houses regularly. This led to some extended family members also getting infected with Covid-19.

One of his extended family members, who had no symptoms, played a match with his local team and a number of his teammates were infected as a result. The team members then went on to infect a number of people.

In total, 56 cases were infected from the index case.

The report from HSE Public Health in the Mid-West highlights the significant impact of Covid-19 in Limerick, Clare and North Tipperary, where there have been over 3,000 cases to date.

Health officials in the region have issued a series of key messages to the public for winter 2020, including:

  • Stay at home if you feel unwell
  • Avoid crowded places
  • Maintain your social distance (2 metres)
  • Wear a face covering in shops and other indoor settings and on public transport
  • Wash your hands
  • Practice good respiratory hygiene
  • Reduce your number of social contacts

Commenting on the report, Dr Mai Mannix, Director of Public Health in the Mid-West said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented challenge for all, including Public Health in the Mid-West region. We continue to experience high volumes of positive cases and my department continues to work tirelessly along with all our colleagues across the health service to supress the virus.

“It is vital as we approach the winter months that the public play their part and continue to adhere to public health guidelines to protect themselves, their families, friends, neighbours and everyone in the Mid-West region.”