Health supplements fitness Coronavirus: ‘Up to 16 affected’ in County Down clusters

Health supplements fitness Coronavirus: ‘Up to 16 affected’ in County Down clusters

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A number of people from several families have tested positive for Covid-19 in County Down, BBC News NI understands.

The clusters of cases have been located in Ballynahinch and Crossgar.

It is believed up to 16 people, including two children, are affected, and two have been taken to hospital.

The Public Health Agency said it had not identified any current clusters other than household-related infections in the Newry, Mourne and Down area.

It is understood the virus was detected over three households and had been identified through contact tracing.

Health authorities have reminded the public to contact them if they are experiencing symptoms so that measures, including track and trace, can be implemented as quickly as possible.

The Department of Health reported five new cases of coronavirus in Northern Ireland on Tuesday, bringing the total number of cases to 5,761.

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A cafe and a care home in Crossgar have closed their doors as a precaution, citing an “outbreak of Covid 19 in our area”.

In a post on social media, Crossgar business Cafe Q said it had taken the decision to close for sit-in customers for “a few weeks”.

“No one on our staff has been affected and we want that to stay this way and ensure that our customers also remain healthy,” the business posted on its Facebook page.

Managers at Glasswater Lodge care home have taken the decision not to reopen for visitors for the time being.

“We’re going to sit tight over the next week or so and see what happens and then hopefully continue with our plan to reopen once it is safer to do so,” a staff member told BBC News NI.

“It’s a bit of a setback but the staff are all great and we’re sticking to the guidelines, so the atmosphere in the home is positive.

“We’ve had no cases, thankfully, and the families have all been very supportive of our decision to remain closed.”

A number of cafes in the area have also closed.

A tea room in Crossgar posted on Facebook that its sit-in area would be closed for a number of weeks due to the outbreak.

It said that none of its staff had been affected “and I want it to stay that way”.

SDLP South Down assembly member Colin McGrath has urged people to remain vigilant.

“This underscores the need for people to be vigilant and ensure that they are continuing to wash their hands and be observant of social distancing rules,” he said.

“While we have had many easements to the regulations that were in place to guide us through this pandemic, it is apparent that it is still in our community and spikes can occur at any stage in any place.

“Contact tracing is an important element and if anyone is asked to isolate they should do so immediately.”

The Public Health Agency (PHA) said it would not comment on individual cases as this “could lead to people being identified and deter others with symptoms coming forward to be tested”.

“With some ongoing community transmission of Covid-19, it is expected that there will be variation in the number of cases detected across geographical areas, and with small numbers of cases, we must be cautious about the significance of these variations,” the agency said.

“PHA will continue to monitor all cases of Covid-19, look for trends and linked cases and where we need to advise or inform the public of any increased risk to public health we will do so in a timely manner.”

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