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St Patrick’s Day celebrations unaffected by coronavirus

St Patrick’s Day celebrations unaffected by coronavirus

The local council has confirmed that its St Patrick’s Day carnival will go ahead as planned amid growing concerns about the impact of coronavirus.

A Derry City & Strabane District Council spokesperson added that it continues to work closely with the relevant statutory agencies including the Department of Health and the Public Health Agency in term of guidance and advice relating to the coronavirus at public events.

At Tuesday’s meeting of Derry City & Strabane District Council’s Governance and Strategic Planning Committee SDLP Cllr Martin Reilly said it can’t have escaped anybody’s notice the impact that the coronavirus could have on the council workforce going forward as one of the largest employers with public facing staff.

Cllr Reilly made clear that he was not bringing it up in a “sensationalist way” but wanted to know if a strategy was in place.

In response, Council Chief Executive John Kelpie said the situation is being monitored on a daily basis and the local authority is following Public Health Agency (PHA) guidance.

Potential absence levels have been assessed and from a personal perspective he said the council has a duty of care to its employees.  Guidance has been distributed to staff regarding personal cleanliness, contact with others and travel.

There has also been an increase in sanitation equipment in facilities across the area and taps in toilets are being cleaned more often for example.  The most up-to-date advice has been put on posters too.

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