The lifting of restrictions in Kildare, which had been in lockdown since August 8, "is testament to the willingness of everyone to adhere to public health guidance", the acting chief medical officer has said.
Kildare, Laois and Offaly had been in lockdown since last month due to a surge in COVID-19 cases in the three counties, which were initially linked to outbreaks in local food processing plants and Direct Provision.
The restrictions were lifted in Laois and Offaly on August 21, but the decision was made to keep Kildare in lockdown for a further two weeks. However, this was lifted on Monday with immediate effect due to the improving situation in the county.
"I want to recognise the very significant impact of the measures on individuals, communities and businesses in Kildare over the past three weeks. The improvement in the epidemiological situation there is a testament to the willingness of everyone to adhere to the public health guidance and measures implemented," Dr Ronan Glynn said.
He pointed out that the actions of people in Kildare are a "further reminder of what can be achieved through collective action" as we continue to learn how to live with this virus.
Meanwhile, with schools now reopened, experts are reminding people that cases of COVID-19 will occur in the school setting, however these will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
"As we continue through the school year, we expect cases and these will be responded to rapidly, tailored to that outbreak and led by public health doctors. These public health doctors will communicate with school staff and parents as indicated," explained Dr Siobhán Ni Bhriain, a consultant psychiatrist and integrated care lead with the HSE.
If anyone has any concerns about the health of their child, they are asked to telephone their GP.
"We are aware that this is an anxious time for parents and guardians. GPs across the country are here to support them. If you feel your child is unwell, outside of a blocked/runny nose and seasonal sneezing, please do not send them into school. Keep them at home, restrict your movements and make contact with your GP," commented GP, Dr Sumi Dunne.
As of Monday evening, there have been 28,811 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland and 1,777 deaths from the virus.
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