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COVID-19: What You Need to Know

COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways.

The WHO has declared that the spread of coronavirus is a pandemic. A pandemic is the worldwide spread of a new disease. A pandemic can happen when most people have little or no immunity to a new virus and can transmit it to each other, causing outbreaks in the community.

Ireland has plans in place to deal with public health emergencies such as COVID-19 (coronavirus). These plans are in line with the global plans by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Centre for Prevention and Disease Control (ECDC).

The Government has set out a Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business. The roadmap is divided into 4 phases that are each planned to last for 3 weeks. Ireland entered Phase 1 of the roadmap on 18 May 2020, on 4 August 2020.

Additional measures announced include:

– Pubs that do not serve food will reopen on 1st September 2020.

– Restaurants will have to close at 11pm.

– Face coverings are mandatory in shops, shopping centres and public transport.

Signs & Symptoms of COVID-19

It can take up to 14 days for symptoms to show. They can be similar to symptoms of cold and flu.

How the virus spreads

You can get the virus if you come into close contact with someone who has the virus.

It is spread through droplets that come from your nose and mouth. For example, from someone who is talking loudly, singing, shouting, coughing or sneezing.

You can also get the virus from surfaces, for example, when someone who has the virus sneezes. Droplets containing the virus can fall onto surfaces around them. If you touch that surface and then touch your eyes, nose or mouth, you could become infected too.

Common household disinfectants will kill the virus on surfaces. Clean the surface first and then use a disinfectant.

Coronavirus can survive for:

  • up to 72 hours on plastic and stainless steel
  • less than 4 hours on copper
  • less than 24 hours on cardboard

If you have symptoms of COVID-19

If you have any common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), you should self-isolate and phone your GP straight away to get a coronavirus test. You must not go to work.

Stay home if you are showing symptoms of COVID-19. You must inform your employer of this.

Hand Washing

To protect yourself and others you need to wash your hands with soap and water.

  • Wet your hands with water and apply soap.
  • Rub your hands together until the soap forms a lather.
  • Rub the top of your hands, between your fingers and under your fingernails.
  • Do this for at least 20 seconds.
  • Rinse your hands under running water.
  • Dry your hands with a clean towel or paper towel.

Please watch this video resource for further instruction: https://youtu.be/IsgLivAD2FE

Respiratory Hygiene

Good respiratory measures can limit the spread of the virus. These measures include:

  • Avoid touching the face, eyes, nose or mouth
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with an elbow or a tissue
  • Dispose of tissues in a covered bin

Additional Useful links:

https://www2.hse.ie/coronavirus/

https://www.gov.ie/en/news/7e0924-latest-updates-on-covid-19-coronavirus/