Mayor of Limerick City and County urges people to ‘stay the course’ as we move through COVID-19 phases of reopening

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Anne Rizzo, Co-Ordinator of the Community Covid-19 Response Team (centre) pictured with Jess Tobin, Limerick Print Makers, Jillian Robinson, LCCC, Mayor of Limerick, Cllr Michael Sheahan, Shane and Maria Cagney, Hunt Museum with information packs. Pic: Don Moloney

OLDER citizens and those with underlying conditions have been urged to rely on support services to “stay the course” by Mayor of Limerick City and County, Michael Sheahan, as the nation moves through the phases of reopening the country.

Sticking to the guidelines in this ongoing first phase of easing restrictions is as important as in the lock-down Mayor Sheahan said as information packs containing information and light-entertainment items were sent to households across Limerick under the Limerick COVID-19 Community Response programme this week.

The packs have been developed under the Limerick Community Care Connect initiative, which is aimed at reaching out to those who are staying at home, feeling a little cut off and wanting to hear about positive things going on around them.

The Limerick City and County Mayor said the packs are “coming at an ideal time” as the nation begins to reopen.

“These packs are coming at an ideal time because while they contain some light entertainment, they also contain the public health guidelines and it’s critically important that we remind people of what they need to do now,” he said.

The information packs include a wide variety of items from public health guidelines to fridge magnates, Limerick Museum leaflets, the Limerick City and County Council Service Guide – a list of all the essential services provided by the local authority – and even songs and poems.

Additionally, activity packs called ‘Lockdown with Limerick Artists’, designed by local Limerick artists for children and families, have also be devised by the Hunt Museum and Contact Studios Artists.

An invitation has also been issued to recipients to write letters, if they wish, to the Limerick City and County Council Age Friendly team at City Hall, Merchants Quay, Limerick if they would like to report on how they have been getting on while cocooning – an initiative made easier now as postmen and women will now collect letters from people as well as deliver them.

Mayor Sheahan noted the nation’s response was brilliant, “not least, here in Limerick to everything that has been asked of us so far”.

Highlighting the need to stay vigilant, he said, “But we really need to stay the course.  We cannot relax now in any way as it could bring us back to square one and the last thing we need is to start all over again. So, my message to people is please read the guidelines in your information packs and stick to them. It may save your own life or the life of others.”

Mayor Sheahan also reiterated the invitation to people who have been cocooned to lean on the Limerick COVID-19 Community Response volunteer group, which, he said, has played a huge role in keeping the impact on this region from the pandemic down.

“In the fullness of time, we will look back with so much pride on what has happened now by way of the wider response; the bravery of frontline healthcare workers, how different organisations came together to manage the public health response, the economic response here in the region and the all-round generosity of the public,” he said.

Mayor Sheahan noted on thing that people will “definitely recall with pride” is the volunteerism shown by people in the Limerick Covid-19 Community Response:

“We managed to harness very quickly the incredible network of volunteerism that is out there, not least through the GAA, which has a presence at every single crossroads in the county, and all those other sporting organisations, from rugby to soccer and non-sporting organisations.

“People who are cocooning have been able to ring the Freephone number 1800 832 005 and ask about information, ask to have their messages delivered, their prescriptions delivered and so much more. It’s been a phenomenal success as it’s enabled these people who we want to protect to stay out of harm’s way.  That’s been a huge contribution and something we really want to bring with us from this.”

Anyone who wants packs delivered is asked to contact 1800 832 005 and delivery will be arranged.