COVID-19 – IWAI Guidance – 12 March 2020
New information is becoming available every day as doctors and scientists study the virus and how it affects people. The situation is evolving and therefore so is advice and guidance.
The Department of Health is leading the government response in Ireland to COVID-19 and are providing up to date information and advice on it’s website at https://www.gov.ie/en/organisation/department-of-health
Additional resources for information and advice include:
Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) at www.hpsc.ie
The HPSC provide advice for the general public and for specific groups and settings.
Firstly we advise all members to heed the advice from the relevant authorities. Pay particular attention to correct hand hygiene, cleaning of surfaces and cough/sneeze etiquette. If you are feeling unwell, with a fever and/or cough, stay at home and phone your GP or local emergency department. If you do not have a GP call 112/999. Do not go to the doctor or local hospital, unless advised to do so following the telephone call. Try to practice social distancing – staying between 1-2m away from others at all times.
If you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you will be contacted by medical personnel, tested and asked to self-isolate.
Given the demographics and geographical spread of our Association, Executive feel it is advisable for face-to-face meetings, such as branch meetings, to be postponed. Where Branch committees wish to continue to perform their duties, if possible this should be done using technology to manage meetings rather than face-to-face. For example; Skype meetings, conference calls, email discussions, WhatsApp discussions.
Cruises in company where only a small number of vessels are involved and where activities are planned for outdoors only should be risk assessed on a case-by-case basis. Large rallies must be postponed. Work parties which are outdoors only should be risk assessed on a case by case basis. Avoid indoor gatherings that are not essential. Any indoor gatherings involving more than 100 people or outdoor gatherings involving more than 500 people must be postponed.
All members must be advised to stay at home if they are feeling unwell. If a work party or cruise – in- company is held, then it is essential that full contact details be taken for everyone in attendance. This is in the event of a subsequent positive case of COVID-19 where contact tracing will be initiated.
Executive will update this guidance as the situation develops but it is essential that members keep themselves informed using the information at the links above. Keep well, look after your families and any vulnerable people in your circle of family, friends and neighbours and above all do not panic. We are now in delay phase not lock down. Until the advice changes being in the open air and enjoying our beautiful waterways (when the water levels recede) without getting together is good for mind body and soul.