Companies in the Mid-West region are being encouraged to have their employees work from home where possible after a “considerable number” of new infections were detected in workplaces.
The Department of Public Health Mid-West confirmed it is managing and investigating Covid-19 “situations” in more than 40 separate workplaces across the region so far this month.
These “situations” recorded are those in workplaces where a more in-depth public health risk assessment has taken place because there was either a suspected or confirmed outbreak. These workplaces do not include healthcare environments, such as hospitals or nursing homes.
Dr Marie Casey, specialist in public health medicine, is urging employers to facilitate staff who wish to work from home as infection rates remain at a high level in the community.
“There needs to be greater vigilance among staff during breaks where there are social interactions. Ideally, lunch breaks should be staggered in order to minimise staff contact,” Dr Casey added.
A spokesperson for the Department of Public Health Mid-West said that essential that workers wear masks in a consistent manner, even with robust social distancing measures in place. They also noted that they had recorded transmission where people have attended work for a number of days while symptomatic.
Chief medical officer Tony Holohan also called on employers to facilitate home working as much as possible.
“Everyone who can, should work from home where possible. For those of us who cannot work from home, it is essential to follow the public health advice in the workplace, such as the wearing of face coverings when moving around communal areas.”