25 May 2022

Sharp rise in number of County Derry Covid-19 cases

People urged to be vigilant after recent increase in positive results.

Sharp rise in number of County Derry Covid-19 cases

Ten GAA clubs in north Derry suspended activities last week.

There has been a combined increase of 34 positive Covid-19 cases across County Derry’s council areas since the PHA identified a ‘cluster’ in the Limavady area last week.

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, where Limavady is situated, experienced the largest surge in cases, with an extra 19 since last Wednesday.

A mobile testing unit, situated on the Greystone Road, was deployed to the area in response to the cluster.

Only one more case was recorded in the Mid Ulster area, but Derry and Strabane saw fourteen new cases, bringing its total to 226.

Ten local GAA clubs suspended activities as a precautionary measure in response to the cluster, with only St Mary’s GAC, Banagher, confirming a positive case within their members.

A club spokesperson said: “All relevant people have been contacted and the Public Health Agency will contact any club member if they feel there is a concern.

“We will keep you up to date of any information received from them.

“The GAA has advised the club to continue as normal, although we have decided to cancel all underage training until further notice.”

A shop in Claudy, part of the Derry and Strabane district, has also confirmed a member of its staff is currently in isolation after testing positive for Covid-19.

In a statement, posted online, Centra Claudy said other members of staff have volunteered for testing.

“Whilst we do have one staff member who has tested positive for Covid-19 they are in isolation since they had the test and are following public health advice,” they said.

“The public health authority did not contact any of our other staff for testing via track & trace although some have volunteered for testing and all results to date have returned negative.

“We can assure you that we have been following very strict Covid guidelines since we entered this pandemic in March.

“Our staff have worked tirelessly to provide a service for the local area, and we have appreciated the support & patience from our community in following guidelines when shopping.”

A ‘local lockdown’ have been enforced in Leicester, England, after a surge in positive cases, and the Department of Health said the strategy would be ‘considered’ in Northern Ireland.

“With lockdown restrictions being eased it is likely that we will see clusters and outbreaks of Covid-19,” a DoH spokesperson said.

“In circumstances where the number of cases continues to increase a range of measures will be considered, including the introduction of local lockdowns if necessary and depending on the circumstances as they arise.”

Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald.

East Derry MLA, Caoimhe Archibald, has urged people not to panic, saying the figures were proof the Test, Trace and Protect system was working.

“It is concerning that a cluster has been identified, first and foremost for those individuals who are affected,” she said.

“Hopefully no one is suffering from serious symptoms and will recover quickly, but there is a general concern there in the local community and that’s understandable.

“We don’t want people to be alarmed. We have seen the test, trace and isolate system in place, and we can see how that is working.

“The cases have been identified and the process is rolling out. That is critical to containing the virus and we see those procedures working effectively.

“It’s a timely reminder to us all that we can’t become complacent, that we do need to remain vigilant and practise public health guidance in terms of social distancing, good hygiene and cough etiquette.”

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