A mushroom plant in Tipperary has suspended operations following a number of positive cases of Covid-19.
Walsh Mushrooms in Golden, near Cashel confirmed in a statement that it had suspended work after a staff member who was in self-isolation tested positive for the virus.
The news of the suspension comes as the acting Chief Medical Officer warned that the number of new Covid-19 cases increased across the country this week.
Dr Ronan Glynn made his statement as a further 67 new cases of the virus were confirmed on Friday.
“We must continue to do all we can to avoid a return to where we were in March and April,” he said.
At Walsh Mushrooms, subsequent testing of close contacts of a staff member has resulted in further positive cases, the company confirmed in a statement.
“As a business, we have stringent measures in place to control Covid-19 since March and we have had no incidence of Covid-19 up to this point," the statement read.
“We are working with the HSE and all relevant authorities assisting in contact tracing and testing of all staff.
“We will use the opportunity to deep clean the plant during the temporary closure. Essential maintenance will continue at the facility."
“The safety, wellbeing, and protection of our employees, their families and the local community is our number one priority.”
Figures from the National Public Health Emergency Team show that 16 of 67 new cases confirmed on Friday were acquired through community transmission.
In Dublin, 18 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed, and 17 in Kildare.
A further nine cases were confirmed in Clare, and five more in Limerick.
The rest of the 18 cases were in Carlow, Cork, Donegal, Laois, Longford, Offaly, Tipperary, Wexford, and Wicklow.
“We have seen cases rising all across the country this week,” said Dr Glynn.
“We have also seen an increase in the average number of contacts for confirmed cases up to 6. It is crucial to keep your social contacts low to limit the spread of this disease.” “We all have a responsibility to stop this. Social distancing applies to all age groups — wherever you are this weekend, keep your distance.”