Up to ten people who attended an event in Co Clare last month, have been ‘required’ to self-isolate after it was confirmed that a person with the Covid-19 virus was also in the audience.
The HSE’s Department of Public Health Mid-West wrote to a number of people on March 5th to advise them that they had been identified as having been in close contact with a person who had been confirmed to have contracted the virus.
It’s understood that during contact tracing procedures, it was established that the person had attended an The Blindboy Podcast event in the Glór theatre in Ennis on the night of February 29th last.
Those who have since been contacted by the HSE have been advised of possible contact with the affected person and have been ‘required’ to place themselves into self-isolation until Saturday next which will be fourteen days since the event.
The letter told recipients: “A case of Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) has been identified in a person who attended the Glór theatre on Saturday 29th February, 2020. As a result, you have been identified as a close contact of the case. To prevent the possible spread of infection, you are required to self-isolate until 14th March, 2020.”
The HSE has declined to comment on the matter or confirm whether a letter was sent. The letter has however appeared on social media while a number of people have confirmed they have received one also although it’s not clear how many.
In a statement, the HSE said: “The HSE and the Department of Health are not providing information about individual activations of preparedness plans or about individual cases of Covid-19 (coronavirus) other than confirmed cases. The approach which has been taken to date in Ireland is in line with guidance from the WHO and ECDC.”
There was some confusion over the authenticity of the letter with some people taking to social media to establish whether others who had also attended the event had received a similar correspondence.
According to a number of people who received the letter, only patrons who sat in the front six rows of the auditorium on the night have been contacted. This however is not the case. It’s understood that no more than ten people, those sitting closest to the confirmed case, have been contacted.
People who had booked tickets but did not attend on the night, also received the letter. Those who have not been contacted by the HSE don’t need to worry it’s believed.
It’s understood that no staff were affected and the HSE was happy for the venue to continue to operate with events continuing as normal.
Additional hygiene measures have been put in place at the popular multi-disciplinary arts centre as an extra precaution.
In a statement on their website, venue management said: “glór can confirm that there were individuals who subsequently tested positive for Covid-19 in attendance at a performance of the Blindboy Podcast which took place in the venue on Saturday 29 February at 8pm.
In line with HSE protocol, glór made immediate contact with health authorities once we were made aware of the situation and shared all relevant information with them. The HSE have subsequently been in touch with those audience members whom they have deemed may be impacted, and have advised on precautionary measures. No action is required from those who have not already been contacted by the HSE.”
“Operations at glór continue as normal after management sought advice from the HSE, additional hygiene measures and handwashing advice are in place at the arts centre, and we ask all our staff and customers to follow HSE guidelines on hand-washing and respiratory etiquette,” the statement added.