Up to 10 theatre-goers in Clare instructed to self-isolate

Up to 10 theatre-goers in Clare instructed to self-isolate
Galway-based performance company, Macnas, are hoping to be able to stage all episodes of ‘Gilgamesh’, their year-long Galway 2020 spectacular written by Marina Carr and directed by Noeline Kavanagh, which is scheduled to begin at the Easter weekend. Picture: Colm Hogan

Up to ten people who attended an event in Co Clare last month have been ‘required’ to self-isolate after it was confirmed that a person with the Covid-19 virus was also in the audience.

The HSE’s Department of Public Health Mid-West wrote to a number of people on March 5 to advise them that they had been identified as having been in close contact with a person who had been confirmed to have contracted the virus.

It’s understood that during contact tracing procedures, it was established that the person had attended the Blindboy Podcast event in the Glór theatre in Ennis on February 29.

Those who have since been contacted by the HSE have been advised of possible contact with the affected person, and have been ‘required’ to place themselves into self-isolation until Saturday, which will be 14 days since the event.

The HSE has declined to comment on the matter or confirm whether a letter was sent. The letter has however appeared on social media while a number of people have confirmed they have received one also although it’s not clear how many.

It’s understood that no more than ten people, those sitting closest to the confirmed case, have been contacted.

Venue management said:

Glór can confirm that there were individuals who subsequently tested positive for Covid-19 in attendance at a performance of the Blindboy Podcast which took place in the venue on Saturday 29 February at 8pm.

“In line with HSE protocol, Glór made immediate contact with health authorities once we were made aware of the situation and shared all relevant information with them.”

Meanwhile, Macnas street theatre artistic director Noeline Kavanagh is hoping public health restrictions won’t affect its year-long series of performances for Galway 2020, entitled Gilgamesh, and that “everyone will need a lift” by the time the largest of the events is staged.

Galway city streets will provide the “playground of imagination” for Macnas’s interpretation of the world’s oldest surviving story.

A series of “guerrilla performances” will “pop up” in unannounced outdoor locations over the Easter weekend of April 10 to 12, and cinematographer Colm Hogan will film this first episode for screening online.

Galway 2020 has applied for an event license with a proposed audience of 45,000 people for the second episode of Gilgamesh on midsummer’s night, June 21, when the hero will encounter “gods and mortals, monsters and marvels”.

Kavanagh believes this — the first Macnas summer parade in Galway in eight years — will provide the “epic” celebration that every one will be “craving” after Covid-19-associated infection restrictions.

Galway 2020 has said it “is aware of the ever evolving situation regarding the coronavirus” and “at present, no upcoming Galway 2020 events or participants are impacted”.

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