• Covid-19

Council preparing Coronavirus outbreak plan, says Pentony

All St Patrick's Day festivals and parades in the county are currently being oragnised and prepared with the intention to go ahead as originally planned.

County Hall
County Hall, Dundalk. Photo Credit: Adrian Crawley.

Louth County Council are currently in the process of putting together a plan to deal with any outbreak of coronavirus among staff members.

Director of Services Frank Pentony, speaking at Tuesday’s meeting of the Dundalk Muncipal District at Town Hall, confirmed that the topic of Covid-19 had been raised at the meeting of senior management at County Hall earlier in the day. Pentony said that Corporate Services were in the process of putting a plan in place to deal with any outbreak, from a local authority standpoint.

He was addressing a query from Councillor Sean Kelly who asked, “As a working County Council, one of the biggest employers in Louth, have you a contingency plan in place if there is an outbreak within staff?

“Is there capacity for most staff to work from home? What kind of effect will that have on essential services the council provides?,” he queried.

Cllr Kelly also asked whether the local authority had been in contact the HSE in relation to dealing with an outbreak in the county and what advice the council had received in respect to large scale events such as the upcoming two-day St Patrick’s Day festival.

While Pentony did not go into detail on these matters, LouthNow.ie understands that the committee of the Dundalk St Patrick’s Day festival, and other event organisers throughout the county, are monitoring developments and advice from the HSE and the Department of Health in regards to coronavirus.

All festivals and parades in the county are currently being planned and prepared with the intention to go ahead. Smaller parades around the country are awaiting a decision by Tourism Ireland, or central government, on the fate of the Dublin parade. That will likely inform and ultimately define what happens to other parades around the country.

One source involved with the organising of a parade in Louth told LouthNow.ie; “The Dublin parade will be the first to go. We are monitoring the situation but we are working under the assumption that the event will go ahead.”

Last night, four more cases of coronavirus were confirmed in the west of the country, bringing the total number of cases in the country to six – and nine on the island overall, with three more cases north of the border.

The latest patients to be diagnosed, two male and two female, are all associated with travel from the same affected area in northern Italy.

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