Offaly GP surprised at size of golf party linked to Covid-19 outbreak

Offaly GP surprised at size of golf party linked to Covid-19 outbreak

Local doctors have been warned that "a significant number of people" in Tullamore may be affected if there has been further spread. Picture: Collins

Tullamore GP Dr Declan Scanlon has raised concerns that a large group of golfers could book a break at a time when everyone was being advised to limit their contacts.

Dr Scanlon was responding to a HSE alert to GPs in the area about a cluster of Covid cases among a group of up to 40 golfers who stayed at the Bridge House, Tullamore for four days last week between September 6 and September 10.

The group played golf at Esker Hills golf club in Tullamore and at New Forest golf club in Tyrellspass. 

They also socialised at the Goalpost pub in Tullamore as well as in Digans bar and O'Connors. 

A group of the golfers also ate at the Canton Regent Chinese restaurant in the town. 

The circular from the HSE was to alert GPs about the cluster, Dr Scanlon told RTÉ radio’s Today with Claire Byrne show. “I was a bit surprised to see so many people travelling as a group of golfers. 

That raised my eyebrows. I’m not sure how appropriate that is when we are all being advised to reduce the number of contacts we have. We’ll be picking up the pieces on this.

Dr Scanlon said that while local GPs are well prepared, the cluster will add to their workload. 

Already his practice was experiencing a “significant number of calls” in relation to the incident.

Local TD Barry Cowen said that the cluster was very worrying and he said that there was a high level of concern among locals. 

Procedures and proposals were being followed by all the venues involved who had been contacted and were cooperating fully with public health officials. 

“All are working hand in glove with the HSE,” he said.

Mr Cowen said it was essential that people in the area reduce the number of contacts they have for the next 10 days to allow GPs to deal with any cases that present to them and so the health service can cope.

The TD also expressed surprise that people would have socialised in this manner. The matter now had to be dealt with and not allowed to get out of control. “I know people are fed up and tired, but they have to take responsibility.” 

Dr Scanlon added that he wanted to assure the public that the health service “are on top of this” and that it was “well geared up” to deal with the cluster.

Offaly hotel workers tested after 'significant' incident linked to golf party

100 workers at a hotel in Co Offaly are being screened after about 20 people who stayed there last week tested positive for coronavirus. 

GPs in Tullamore have been warned they are facing "a significant Covid-19 incident".

The golf party of 40 checked into the Bridge House Hotel in Tullamore the weekend before last, and stayed for several days.

They played golf nearby, and some socialised at a number of pubs and restaurants in the town.

A letter sent to GPs there said up to half of that group have since tested positive for Covid-19.

Until now there are no known infections beyond that original group.

However public health teams are moving to trace guests from across the country to say they may have come into contact with a case.

Local doctors have been warned that "a significant number of people" in Tullamore may be affected if there has been further spread.

Management at the Bridge House Hotel said they are "working closely with and cooperating with the HSE" and that they have closed temporarily.

They say they have worked "tirelessly" to set up "a safe environment in line with public health guidance".

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