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It’s up to everyone to be vigilant says South Kilkenny councillor as Covid cases rise across the country

It comes as 150 wet pubs reopened in Carlow & Kilkenny last night

There’s no indication if Carlow or Kilkenny are affected by the latest public health figures after NPHET announced 188 new cases of Covid-19.

Seven were confirmed over the border in Waterford which the government has warned is being monitored closely and could potentially be moved into Level 3 restrictions under the new Framework for living with the virus.

The Taoiseach says such a move will be ‘carefully considered’ amid concerns over rising numbers.

A large proportion of the 100-plus new cases in Waterford over the last week are being linked to an outbreak at the Dawn Meats factory in Grannagh.

Speaking on KCLR’s The Way It Is on Monday evening Cllr Eamon Aylward said this is also a major concern for all of south Kilkenny noting “There is people from South Kilkenny working in there as well so I suppose, it’s not just a case where you hear stories or rumours that these people are bused in & bused out you know into the factory but a lot of them cycle in, you’d see guys cycling, they’re driving, so they are interacting with people in South Kilkenny, so it’s not just something that can be isolated and I suppose there’s natural concern across the area”.

With the rate of infection in the Piltown Municipal District now up to 98 cases per 100,000 Cllr Aylward adds “It’s up to everybody I think to be vigilant, I think no matter whether it’s rampant in an area or it’s non existent in an area, everybody across the country has to be wary that this could be anywhere, it could strike at any time you know so wear a mask, wash you hands, the message is quite simple with regards your hands, wear a mask and just social distancing”.

On the same programme Cllr Maria Dollard says people should take the advice and trust in the testing systems to keep the virus numbers under control commenting “There’s a lot of, you know, chat about the testing and all this kind of stuff but I had an experience last week, my son had a bit of a stuffy nose, he’s in school, so he was immediately sent for a test, we had the results back in 36 hours so there’s a very good system in place certainly in my experience so people should trust the system & if you don’t feel well, ring your Doctor, your Doctor will tell you what to do next and don’t be afraid of it”.

It comes as many locals will have had their first night in a pub for six months last night.

150 wet pubs across Carlow and Kilkenny were finally allow to welcome customers back yesterday for the first time in six months.

Publicans were glad to be able to see their regulars again but some would have been nervous about reopening – John Jackman from JJ’s in Tullow says “I feel like there’s a bit of a weight on my shoulders at the same time, there’s a lot of responsibility, I’m not sure that a lot of the customers will understand until they come onto the premises, it’s not going to be easy”.

Meanwhile, there has been a fourfold increase in the numbers hospitalised with Covid-19 in the past month, while the numbers in ICU has more than doubled.

The head of the HSE, Paul Reid, says the figures showing 90 people now in hospital and 19 in ICU is a “very concerning trend”.

According to a new Department of Health survey, 52 per cent of the population are in favour of more restrictions being introduced.

And Immunology Professor Kingston Mills, from Trinity College, says more counties are in danger of a lockdown like Dublin’s saying “There’s a number of counties now where the rate per 100,000 is creeping up and with the pubs opening that’s not the ideal situation so I’d imagine if those numbers still creep up in those counties we could be looking at further restrictions in a number of other counties outside Dublin”.