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Covid testing to take place at University of Limerick following rise…

first_imgLimerickNewsCovid testing to take place at University of Limerick following rise in cases among student communityBy David Raleigh – February 9, 2021 550 Limerick’s National Camogie League double header to be streamed live Print Roisin Upton excited by “hockey talent coming through” in Limerick Linkedin Previous articleA Valentine’s bouquet that hits all the right notesNext article“It’s like someone handed in a purse to gardai and they waited for someone to come and claim it” — Family of ‘missing’ Denis Walsh expresses disappointment over 25-year gap in identifying remains David Raleigh WATCH: “Everyone is fighting so hard to get on” – Pat Ryan on competitive camogie squads WhatsApp Facebook TAGSKeeping Limerick PostedlimerickLimerick Post center_img Billy Lee names strong Limerick side to take on Wicklow in crucial Division 3 clash Twitter Email Donal Ryan names Limerick Ladies Football team for League opener Limerick Ladies National Football League opener to be streamed live University you Limerick campus aerialsPhoto: True MediaUNIVERSITY of Limerick (UL) is to facilitate on-campus COVID-19 testing by HSE Mid-West Community Healthcare in a bid to prevent further transmission of the potentially deadly virus among the student population.The move is in response to a rise in cases of COVID-19 in recent weeks in the Castletroy area of Limerick city, believed to be associated with students living in off-campus accommodation.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up UL said it “has a strong relationship with Public Health Mid-West and An Garda Siochana, and consistently liaises and works with them to remind students of their personal responsibility to follow government and institutional guidelines“.In a statement, UL President Professor Kerstin Mey, strongly urged students to understand their roles “in keeping our communities safe and to be aware of the consequences of breaking current government COVID-19 restrictions”.The Department of Public Health Mid-West said it has seen some evidence in recent weeks of an increase in COVID-19 cases among the student population living in the immediate vicinity of the campus – largely based around simple household visits.“In the next few weeks it is crucial that community transmission is suppressed to the maximum to ensure the safe reopening of society and to protect the population while the immunisation programme is being implemented,” the Department stated.“The Department of Public Health is aggressively investigating and managing clusters such as this one to enable this to happen.“UL said it has “moved quickly” to facilitate free on-campus COVID-19 tests to students who will be invited to register without needing to display symptoms of the virus at a testing centre being established on the UL campus this week.“As a result of constant engagement and close ties between UL and Public Health Mid-West we are in a position to act very swiftly now at the first signs of a possible increase of cases among students living off campus,” said Professor Mey.“We have reduced on campus activity to approximately 2% of what would normally take place so there are barely any students or staff on campus under Level 5 restrictions.”“Where we can put any further measure in place to protect our own and the surrounding communities we will do so,” Prof Mey added.Dr Marie Casey, Mid West Public Health Medicine Specialist, said there had been “a noticeable increase in COVID-19 clusters among the student population, particularly in housing estates in the Castletroy area with links to some households in Limerick city, as a result of household transmission in the past three weeks”.“The student population is unique insofar that they can often live with a number of housemates in large households. Some students have part-time jobs, and many will go home on the weekends to visit family and friends,” Dr Casey said.“With the onset of the dominant UK COVID-19 variant, which is more transmissible than the original strain, there is now a high level of risk of transmission in the student community,” she warned.“Because many young people will carry the virus without any symptoms, this presents an increased risk of infection to household, workplace and family contacts. Outbreaks arising out of household transmission is starting to become a worrying trend across the Mid-West, at a crucial time when we need to suppress the virus’ spread in the community.”“We are urging everyone in the region to avoid household visits and social gatherings of any kind, as we have seen far too many times how a single episode of social contact has led to serious illness and death,” added Dr Casey.Students at UL have been repeatedly advised to follow public health guidelines, to download the COVID tracker app and to self-isolate if they display any symptoms while they await a test.UL said that, overall, it has seen a high level of compliance on campus with the COVID-19 precautions it had put in place.Students have been contacted with full details on how to register online for an on-campus test.All tests will be processed by the HSE. Advertisement RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHORlast_img read more

Advice falls on DTI’s deaf ears

first_imgAdvice falls on DTI’s deaf earsOn 7 Mar 2000 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Advice from the Government’s own regulation watchdog could have been writtenfor the Personnel Today/EFSP campaign, says Philip Whiteley, but the DTI stillchose to ignore it In April 1999, the new Secretary of State for Trade & Industry StephenByers sat down to a meeting with a small group representing major employers ina highly secretive meeting. On the agenda was how to amend the Working Timeregulations to reduce the paperwork and increase exemptions for managers.At the same time, government watchdog the Better Regulation Task Forceproduced its report on enforcement of regulation, which denounced the practiceof “rounding up the usual suspects” in consulting procedures. It wenton, “Of particular concern is the practice of informal pre-consultation withcertain representatives which skews the options for discussion in a way that isneither transparent nor accountable.”Narrow debate News of Byers’ clandestine discussions was leaked to Personnel Today, muchto the dismay of those involved, who feared that a backlash from the tradeunions would scupper the talks. The TUC did indeed protest about what it saw asa watering down of the directive, but Byers weathered the storm. Rather thanopen up negotiations, however, he formally announced the plans in July, withjust two weeks’ consultation.While the meeting’s outcome was welcomed by most employers, the revelationthat the DTI ignored the Government’s own watchdog causes disquiet. Secretivestrategies tend to produce errors in law.In the same report, the Task Force emphasises the point – that those withrelevant experience will better spot the flaws in any proposed law than DTIofficials.”It is heartening that the Government’s own advisers were making thesensible point, but worrying that the DTI was apparently not listening – thatwill have to change,” said EFSP chief executive Robbie Gilbert.The condemnation by the task force produced not a hint of a blush atVictoria Street, which continued in similar spirit. Formal consultation on thefar-reaching Part-Time Workers directive has been squeezed into six weeks – outof a maximum 104, given that the UK like any other EU country has two years totranslate a directive into domestic law.Forward thinkingFurther extracts from the task force report show its prescience – it couldhave been written for the Personnel Today/Employers’ Forum on Statute andPractice campaign. “It is important that all those affected are consultedearly enough to have some influence,” it stated. “Those who are beingconsulted are probably engrossed in their immediate business and interests, soit is important to make it easy for them to take part.”Give them the information they need in plain language, be clear aboutwhat is open to consultation and change and give them sufficient time torespond.”Looked at objectively, it is odd that there are no standard processes –particularly for proposed regulations which, unlike a Bill, have limitedParliamentary scrutiny.The Institute of Directors recommends at least three months’ properconsultation plus a further two months or more for employers to have time todigest and familiarise themselves with the law. “We have had just sixweeks to respond to the Part-Time regulations,” said business policyexecutive Richard Wilson. “The Parental Leave regulations came into forceon 15 December; the guidelines were not published until 24 hours after.Allowing a decent amount of time to get to know new laws is important,Wilson added, as penalties for making a mistake have increased spectacularlywith the quadrupling of the maximum penalty for unfair dismissal. DTI defenceIt is not as if the DTI has always got it wrong. On the initial consultationon union recognition – which formed part of the Employment Relations Act – itinvolved both unions and the CBI in an exercise that saw the two adversariesreduce their differences on the complex formula for ballots on whether unionsshould have negotiating rights.The DTI’s defence is that consultation must be fit for purpose. “Everyconsultation is different, and with different external timetables – differentgroups affected and varying complexity involved,” said a spokeswoman.”A major public consultation on a Green Paper would not be treated in thesame way as a very technical matter affected a limited number of people.”The department accepts the recommendations of the task force and agrees thatthe process should be “transparent and accountable”. On thepre-consultation meetings, she added, they are not used to “skewoptions”.”Policy is not developed in a vacuum. We need clear understanding ofthe issues and options if we are going to have effective consultations. Gettingthis requires exploratory discussions.” The delay to the Part-Time workconsultation document was longer than hoped, but “time was needed to getthe proposals right”.On Working Time changes last year, the DTI spokeswoman argued that thesewere not a major change as they lightened the regulatory burden withoutaffecting employee rights. This interpretation is strongly challenged by theTUC. She pointed to the establishment of the Tupe Forum, to discuss laws onbusiness transfers, as a “model example” of consultation.The tone from the DTI is defensive. But the EFSP is keen to stress that thecampaign is about making legislation workable, not to oppose the law’s aims.And disquiet does come from human resource practitioners, not onlyrepresentative bodies. “This is a general matter – it is an IPD positionas well,” said Sue Adams, head of human resources at the North WestDevelopment Agency. There is a great deal of criticism that there is notsufficient consultation. The story seems to be, ‘We’ll see how it goes, andwait for things to fall at the first hurdle’.”Ignorance of the law is, of course, no defence in a court, and penalties forignorance have risen. There is straightforward advice from the Government’swatchdog to ensure that people are fully informed, and practitioners are rightto be puzzled that it is rarely followed.The Better Regulation Task ForceWhat is The Better Regulation Task Force?The Better Regulation Task Force was appointed in September 1997 to adviseGovernment on regulatory issues. The aim is to give advice on how to improveregulations so that they are appropriate to the requirement and keep paperworkto a minimum.Is this just a quango to police other quangos? That is not quite accurate. It is an advisory body comprising individualsfrom across different sectors. The idea is that they can help governmentdepartments improve their record on regulation. It does not generate rules orred tape in itself.Is it a toothless talking shop, then?The jury is still out – its success depends on whether governmentdepartments heed its sensible, well written advice. If government lawyers andofficials continue to embroider secretly done deals between ministers andselected parties, the same pattern will continue.Are any more reports due out on the consultation process?A report due out next month on small firms, and one later in the year onpay-roll, will consider consultation arrangements.What are the terms of reference?”To advise the Government on action which improves the effectivenessand credibility of government regulation by ensuring that it is necessary, fairand affordable, and simple to understand and administer, taking particularaccount of the needs of small businesses and ordinary people.” Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more