‘Be Winter Ready’ is a coordinated campaign involving statutory services which aims to raise public awareness about the challenges which Winter can present. This year will require even further preparedness as the battle to control Covid19 continues.

The Cork and Kerry Inter-Agency Emergency Management Region South includes An Garda Síochána, the Health Service Executive, Cork City Council, Cork County Council and Kerry County Council. These agencies have been working together since the start of the Covid-19 crisis to co-ordinate the community response and are now asking the people of Cork to continue to assist communities in staying safe and be ‘Winter Ready’.

Each agency is providing key information such as;

  • An Garda Síochána and the importance of being aware of weather conditions when driving this winter.
  • The HSE Department of Public Health again reiterated the importance of being alert for symptoms of Covid-19.  If you have Covid-19, or if you have symptoms and are waiting for a test or a result then you must self-isolate (stay in your room). If you are a close contact, or if you have just arrived into Ireland, you must restrict your movements (stay at home). For more information on Covid-19 symptoms and stopping the spread, see hse.ie or contact 1850 24 1850.
  • Cork Kerry Community Healthcare on the importance of minding our health this winter. This is particularly important for anyone with a long-term health condition. See www.hse.ie/selfmanagementsupport for useful advice.
  • The South/South West Hospital Group are asking the public to consider using Injury Units when appropriate (including the Mercy University Hospital Injury Unit at the St Mary’s Health campus; the Mallow Injury Unit and the Bantry Injury Unit) instead of presenting to Emergency Departments where possible.
  • Local Authorities (Cork City Council, Cork County Council and Kerry County Council) on the salting routes which will be covered in the event of cold weather. The Councils also communicate extensive updates on severe weather throughout their relevant digital channels.

Dr. Anne Sheahan, acting Director of Public Health for Cork and Kerry commenting on the 2020 Winter Ready campaign highlighted how,

This is a Winter like no other, and I know that the current restrictions to stop the spread of Covid-19 are particularly hard. We are beginning to see the impact of some of the restrictions, but it’s important that we stick with the actions which protect us all.”

This winter, we need to remember to keep our distance from others, and we need to continue with good hand hygiene and catching our coughs and sneeze. We all need to be aware of the symptoms of Covid-19, and when we need to self-isolate (stay in our rooms) or restrict our movement (stay at home). I’d encourage everyone to use hse.ie as the best source of information on symptoms and the actions we all need to take.

The webpage www.winterready.ie has useful tips and information for members of the public, including advice on how to avoid trips and falls, and how to make sure your home and family are prepared for winter.

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