Council takes leading role in reaching out to communities to help curb spread of virus
01 October 2020
Derry City and Strabane District Council is taking a leading role in helping curb the spread of the COVID19 virus across the Council area by engaging proactively with communities and organisations to help reinforce the Public Health messaging and to encourage everyone to do their bit and protect each other.
Council is in the process of reaching out to businesses, sports organisations, schools, churches, the community and voluntary sector and young people urging them all to play their part in preventing the spread of the virus by following a number of simple rules around regular hand washing, keeping 2metres apart, wearing face coverings where possible and reducing their social interactions.
Mayor Cllr Brian Tierney, who chaired an elected members briefing yesterday said Council was extremely alarmed at the recent spike in numbers across the Council area and had taken a very proactive approach in urging communities to comply with the guidance and play their part to keep communities safe.
Mayor Tierney said the people of Derry and Strabane had the power to bring about change by working together and abiding by the health advice. He praised the resilience of the people of Derry and Strabane saying it is important that community spirit remains high and that any health messages that are communicated, are done so in a manner that does not cause unnecessary alarm or concern.
The Council Chief Executive John Kelpie speaking at the briefing said Council was taking a proactive role in engaging with all sections of the community across the Council area to reinforce the health message. Among those the Council is in the process of engaging with are business leaders, the churches, sports organisations, schools and young people, as well as the community and voluntary sector in a joint up approach to deal proactively with the current situation.
Mr Kelpie outlined how senior officers engage on a daily basis with Government and the Health authorities to obtain and analyse the most up to date statistics and that Council was playing a key role in reinforcing the Public Health Authority messaging around washing hands, socially distancing and wearing masks and proactively urging people to take whatever steps they can to reduce their social contacts.
Seamus Donaghy, Head of Health and Community Wellbeing at Derry City and Strabane District Council advised elected members at the briefing that extensive work is being done by teams within Council to support businesses to remind them of the regulations and to encourage compliance. He said officers have increased their presence across the Council area offering advice and assistance to local businesses in an effort to curb the spread of the virus and have teamed up with key statutory and business stakeholders across the city in calling for compliance to new restrictions by urging people across the Council area to do all they can to curb the spread of the Corona Virus in the region
Mayor Tierney appealed to the wider community in Derry and Strabane not to be fearful but to act proactively with the usual goodwill and community spirit they are renowned for, by taking the necessary steps to reduce the spread of the virus.
He concluded: “By following the simple rules around hand washing, keeping 2metres apart, wearing a face covering and reducing the number of social contacts, we can all make a positive impact to reduce the numbers and keep people safe over the coming days and weeks.”