A joint message from the Department of Public Health HSE North East, Monaghan GAA and Monaghan County Council

11th August, 2021: The Department of Public Health North East, Monaghan GAA and Monaghan County Council are appealing to people in Monaghan to continue to follow public health advice due to concerns over an increase in COVID-19 cases in Monaghan in recent weeks.

The Department of Public Health North East have seen an increase in COVID-19 cases in the Monaghan Local Electoral Area (LEA) in recent weeks.

The latest figures, covering the 14 day incidence during 20/07/2021 to 02/08/2021, reported the Monaghan LEA with an incidence rate of 625.7 cases per 100,000 of population. This compares to a national incidence rate of 372.6/100,000 of population. The incidence rate in Monaghan LEA is almost double the national rate.

Dr Augustine Pereira, Director of Public Health North East, said: “The current situation in Monaghan is concerning, as case numbers are increasing rapidly. The high incidence rates we are seeing in Monaghan reflects how serious the situation can become in a matter of days and weeks. We have not seen this level of infection since early February, which is a worrying trend and shows that this virus is prevalent in our communities.”

“We are appealing to teenagers and those in their twenties and thirties in particular to reduce their social contacts and to avoid attending house gatherings. The 15-24 year age group accounted for 40% of cases in Monaghan last week. This is why we are urging everyone even those who are fully vaccinated to be extra vigilant, act responsibly, and adhere to public health guidelines.”

“Thanks to the extraordinary vaccination programme, we are making great progress. I would appeal to the age cohorts who can register on the vaccination portal – please take up the opportunity of getting vaccinated. We would like to see much higher vaccination rates in Monaghan to provide that ‘protective wall’ against COVID-19 taking hold of our communities. We ask if you are not yet vaccinated, to please continue to manage your contacts, meet outdoors, avoid crowded settings and not to socialise indoors as you await your vaccine.”

Dr Pereira added: “If you have symptoms or are concerned that you have been exposed to COVID-19, please isolate and seek a free PCR test. It is important for people with mild symptoms to seek a free test. If you are not yet fully vaccinated and a close contact of a person that has tested positive for COVID-19, you need to isolate and get a free PCR test.”

Monaghan GAA Chairperson, Declan Flanagan, said: “Monaghan is once more experiencing a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases. As a community the people of Monaghan must work together to ensure that this virus does not take hold and shut down society. We have been through so much over the past 16 months and now is the time to come together and work as a team to beat this latest spike in cases. I would urge everybody to follow the public health advice and also, I would urge everybody to apply and avail of the COVID-19 vaccine.”

Paul Clifford, Deputy Chief Executive of Monaghan County Council is encouraging the people of Monaghan to follow all public health advice and stay safe.

“I want to particularly appeal to young people, we need you to keep up with adhering to public health advice. We know it’s hard, but it is helping to keep our communities safe. The people of Monaghan have shown on numerous occasions how a county with high incidence rates of COVID-19 can bring infection numbers to single-figure digits when communities band together by adhering to public health adviceClose collaboration between the HSE and Monaghan County Council will continue and be strengthened in the coming days and weeks to address the concerning trend in case numbers in Monaghan.”

*This is provisional data and is subject to change due to validation