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Irish College of General Practitioners urges people to follow Government guidelines and to take personal responsibility for their actions over the festive period.
If we all work together we can celebrate the festivities in a meaningful way while minimising the risk of a surge in COVID-19 cases.
GPs urge people to take steps to manage & acknowledge mental health pressures.
The Irish College of General Practitioners, the training & professional body for Irish GPs, has encouraged the public to think through their actions, and to use common sense when it comes to socialising and visiting over Christmas.
The ICGP’S COVID-19 Clinical Lead, Dr Nuala O’Connor, said:
It is Important that we know how to get together in as safe a manner as possible, avoiding crowded, poorly-ventilated indoor spaces. Caution should be taken where alcohol is involved. If you walk into a venue and it does not feel safe, then it is not safe – turn around and leave.“
We must think carefully about who we want to spend time with. We all understand the importance of family and loved ones at this time of year, but we want to make sure to spend time with them in as safe a manner as possible, in order to reduce the resurgence of the virus in January.
Please continue to wear your mask, social distance and wash your hands. If you have any symptoms of infection – fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss or change in your sense of taste or smell – please stay at home and contact your GP to get a COVID test. If you feel unwell, do not take a chance to meet with other people socially, or at work.
The ICGP’S COVID-19 Advisor Dr Mary Favier, said:
As GPs we see the impact that the COVID-19 restrictions are having on people’s mental health, particularly those in vulnerable and disadvantaged categories.
Dr Favier added:
People living or working in crowded conditions are particularly vulnerable to poor mental health, and general stress levels are high. It is much more difficult to manage a COVID-19 outbreak in a crowded household, and people working in retail and service industries at Christmas time are at particular risk of stress.
Dr Favier said:
There are many people for whom Christmas is a sad time . We urge people feeling stressed or anxious to contact their GP for advice, and to take steps to reduce stressful situations wherever possible.
People can access HSE-funded partners who deliver mental health services at www.yourmentalhealth.ie
The ICGP reiterated that GP surgeries remain open, even if there are no “walk-in” appointments. People with any medical conditions or worries about any possible health issues should phone their GP first and make an appointment.
Consult www.hse.ie for COVID-19 advice and updates.
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