The Chief Health Officer for the Midlands Louth Meath area, Pat Bennett.
On the first day of phase one of the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, the Chief Health Officer for the Midlands Louth Meath area Pat Bennett, has thanked everyone for their efforts so far but warned that we need to hold firm and keep up the good work as there is still a job of work to be done before the virus is beaten.
“It has been a very intense three months responding to this fast moving pandemic and all of the changing requirements which evolved during that time” Mr. Bennett said.
“The gains made have been significant and I would like to thank all our staff for what has been a very considered and immediate response in what can only be described as unprecedented times for our health services.
“I would also like to thank all our GP’s, statutory, voluntary and community organisations who responded quickly and in a coordinated manner to support some of the most vulnerable in our communities. That support was very much appreciated and proved invaluable in so many ways in the planning of our response to Covid 19.
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“Moving on to the next stage, following the easing of some of the restrictions, we now have to plan to move to a more sustainable structure which will focus on how we will deliver services in a safe environment both for our service users and our staff still in a Covid 19 unpredictable environment.
“That process in line with the government’s return to work guidelines will be the focus of our planning and engagement over the next number of weeks.
“This deadly virus is still with us and we all have a duty of care to protect our loved ones.
“This will prove challenging for all involved. Engagement with staff and the Learning from the Covid 19 response will obviously feed into this process as will new working guidelines, telemedicine, technology, public heath advice, and the good will of all involved”.
“This week I will be visiting our Testing Centres in Dundalk and Navan and meeting up with staff who worked above and beyond the call of duty to get those centres up and running.
“To see at first hand the planning and organisation that went into getting those facilities up and running in such a short space of time was certainly very impressive and no doubt bodes well for our ability to plan and organise as we move into a new way of working and providing services in our community.
“I wish to welcome and support the new phase of the public health advice campaign which supports our move through those coming phases, under the overall theme ‘Stay safe, protect each other, #Hold Firm’ .
“Over the last weeks and months, we have worked together and have reduced the impact of COVID-19 on the country and our health service.
“Now we need to motivate and inspire people to hold firm and to keep going with those actions that help us to stay safe and protect each other.
“The Hold Firm campaign takes inspiration from the words of President Michael D Higgins, and reminds people why we have to keep up our efforts and keep that curve flat. ‘Stay safe, protect each other, #Hold Firm.”
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