A Covid-19 Community Response Forum was established in County Laois and was co-ordinated by Laois County Council. With representation from multiple statutory and voluntary agencies, the core aim of the Forum was to contribute to the community-wide effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. Laois County Council, through this Forum, ensured that the wide variety of groups working across the county assisted those in need, and did so in an organised, collaborative and targeted way.
The HSE have posted translated resources to help share the messaging about coronavirus (COVID-19) in various languages. These posters and booklets are available for download and printing.
The translations of the guidance and advice is at the following link: https://www.hse.ie/eng/services/news/newsfeatures/covid19-updates/partner-resources/covid-19-translated-resources/
COVID Tracker App now available to download
The HSE has created a free smartphone app to help improve contact tracing for COVID-19. The app will make contact tracing faster and more accurate, reducing the spread of coronavirus. Nearly 500,000 people have already downloaded the app today.
If you use the app, you can:
- get an alert if you have been in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19
- alert others if you test positive for coronavirus – this will help keep other people safe
- track your symptoms and get advice on what to do if you’re sick
- get regular updates, and protect yourself and others as we learn to live with COVID-19
The app protects your privacy and you keep control of your information. It exchanges secure, anonymous records via Bluetooth when people using it are in close contact with each other. It will never identify you to other app users and you cannot access each other’s information.
You can find an information leaflet with more detail that you can share with your own networks here.
The COVID tracker app will help us to track and stop the spread of COVID-19 as we continue to re-open services and communities. It goes hand in hand with the other important steps we can all take. Everyone should continue to wash hands regularly, cover coughs and sneezes, keep our 2m distance and use face coverings when we can’t.
Thanks in advance for your support – the more people who download and use the app, the more it will help to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The COVID Tracker app is available on www.covidtracker.ie, or in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store now.
The Government’s roadmap for reopening society and business can be found at https://www.gov.ie/en/news/58bc8b-taoiseach-announces-roadmap-for-reopening-society-and-business-and-u/?referrer=/roadmap/
An Post operate a “Request a Check in for older and vulnerable customers” through the following link: https://www.anpost.com/Community-Support/Request-a-Check-In
HSE “Help is at Hand” has been developed with the aim of collating all the main relevant supports and services that may be required and/or helpful to people during the current circumstances. It is very informative and endeavours to cover all demographics and age cohorts,: https://laois.ie/wp-content/uploads/Help-is-at-hand-Covid-19-Poster-Laois-Offaly-1.pdf
Minding your Mental Health during COVID-19 – A Booklet for Carers.
This is an unprecedented time for Ireland as a nation; COVID-19 has brought many changes to our lives. It is a time of uncertainty and many of us are feeling stressed, anxious and vulnerable. Being in the role of a carer comes with added pressures as some of the supports and services that you relied on to help you in your role are not currently available. This handbook aims to provide you with tips for maintaining your wellbeing during this period, in order to allow you continue to care for your loved one. All of the wellbeing advice within this handbook is relevant at any time in our lives but is especially important in times of stress.
Bereavement Support Counselling
A Confidential Counselling Support Service for family members and concerned persons bereaved during the COVID-19 pandemic is available from the HSE National Counselling Service (NCS).
This service will provide:
- Information on Bereavement
- Support for family members and concerned others who are experiencing distress
- Referral to other appropriate services
TO REQUEST THE COUNSELLING SUPPORT SERVICE PHONE:
Please email out of hours. Self-referrals welcome. For referrals by a health professional please obtain consent to share information.
Laois Community Response Interactive Map
To view the volunteer groups active in your area please click on the below link. This interactive map is provided by Laois Public Participation Network (PPN) in response to COVID-19.
Age Action – Getting Started Kit
The Getting Started KIT is made up of How To guides that will support older people to learn, use, and be confident using smartphones and applications.
The Age Action Getting Started KIT materials are available to download below or people can call 01 8730372 leave their name and address and Age Action will post the How to Guides within 10 days.
The Minister has signed a Commencement Order commencing Section 9 of the recently enacted Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid 19) Act 2020. This section inserts a new provision (Section 251A) into the Planning and Development Act, 2000 as amended (the Act).
This has the effect that the period from 29th March 2020 to the 20 April 2020, inclusive, may be disregarded when calculating any appropriate period, specified period, or other timelines in
- the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended,
- the Derelicts Sites Act, 1990,
- Part 2 of the Urban Regenerations and Housing Act, 2015 (which relates to the vacant site levy),
- Chapter 1 of Part 2 of the Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Act, 2016 (which relates the Strategic Housing Developments)
The effect of the activation of this provision does not freeze the planning system, rather it extends the timelines within which decisions can be made.
The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government has published a guidance titled “FAQ – Order made under Section 251A of the Planning and Development, Act 2000, as amended, on 29 March 2020, which can be viewed on www.housing.gov.ie.
The Minister has also made Regulations that, for the period of the emergency, a change in use from a premises selling food for consumption on the premises to one providing food for consumption off the premises will be considered an exempt development and provides for the non-application of the Planning and Development Act 2000 to certain classes of development by or on behalf of a State Authority.
In line with the advice of the Minister contained in Guidelines for Planning Authorities on the Enforcement of certain planning conditions during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, issued under Section 28 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, the Planning Authority will use its discretion in relation to the enforcement of certain planning conditions relating to operational restrictions, e.g. where essential retail and childcare operators, in an effort to ensure that food and other supplies and critical services can be delivered in a safe and timely manner, may be subject to planning conditions that restrict delivery times and/or opening hours.
The Planning Authority is seeking to ensure that every effort is being made to make certain that the planning system continues to operate effectively as possible, in the context of the most up-to-date public health advice during this COVID-19 Emergency. In this regard the following is highlighted:
- The planning counter is closed, however, applicants can submit applications by post and make contact by telephone on 057 8664032 or email at email@example.com.
- Planning applications will be validated following receipt, which will include uploading onto the publicly accessible planning area on www.laois.ie.
- Decisions on files lodged up to and including the 21/02/2020 will be issued where possible.
- Decisions on files received after the 21/02/2020, cannot be issued, having regard to the extended timelines provided for under S251A, to ensure that public participation in the planning process is maintained. Where further information responses are received, the Planning Authority may issue a Decision where possible, unless the response is deemed “significant”, as same cannot be processed having regard to the provisions of S251A.
- The Planning Authority will continue to facilitate pre-planning requests and deal with other necessary communications via email and phone.
Please note that where the An Bord Pleanala Appeal process has not expired on all Planning applications that have been granted, this appeal period will resume once the COVID emergency is over
Click News to read Age Friendly Ireland daily updates:
In This Together
For tips and advice on how you can look after your mental well being, stay active and stay connected, follow the link https://www.gov.ie/en/campaigns/together/
Covid 19 World Service is a joint initiative of Nasc and Together Ireland. Over 20 doctors, and other healthcare professionals, from around the world, but living and working in Ireland, have voiced the video messages for this new Covid-19 World Service Initiative aimed at providing up-to-date and accurate public health information to migrants living in Ireland
Click for video at http://www.neic.ie/news/covid-19-world-service
Irish Hospice Foundation COVID-19 Care & Inform Team
Are you caring for a loved one at home, or has someone you love died? Information and support is available through the Irish Hospice Foundation
Freephone 1800 80 70 77, Monday to Friday, 10am – 1pm or go to https://hospicefoundation.ie/covid19careandinform/