AN IRISH couple who decided to flaunt public health guidelines and attend a recent house party ended up spreading Covid-19 to 30 people.
Dr Breda Smyth, Director of Public Health, HSE West demonstrated how the virus can spread easily and quickly even if just one or two individuals slip up and break the rules.
Speaking at Wednesday evening's Department of Health briefing, Dr Smyth used an example of an Irish couple who were only away from their home for a weekend to "demonstrate the way in which an outbreak spreads and can spread quickly".
"In this situation, we had in total 30 cases. A couple went on a trip away. They arrived back on day one of the weekend and attended a house party. At this house party they attended, there were eight people, and six out of the eight people became positive with Covid.
"They stayed overnight with a family, and in this household, three out of four in the household became positive, and also three further social contacts of the family became positive.
"One from the couple then, day two of the weekend, went with another group of friends for a dinner party into the town centre. In that dinner party, there were four people, and all four became positive.
Here's the slide.
Not sitting at the same table? Not necessarily entirety out of harm's way. pic.twitter.com/ud53FguPDz
— Richard Chambers (@newschambers) September 30, 2020
"In the bar-restaurant that that dinner party was, there was a table adjacent to them, and all six members of that adjacent table became positive, and also four staff in that establishment became positive.
"The index case, with another friend, then went to another drinks venue to meet a party of four for drinks, and all four became positive.
Dr Smyth later gave another example of a wild spread of the virus could happen as a result of social gatherings.
She explained how a house party resulted in a 21 positive cases. Then one of these positive cases later had dinner with a friend from college, who went on to join their class of 26 people. infecting 15 of them.
In total, this connection of social gatherings resulted in 36 positive cases.
Dr Smyth concluded: "So, this demonstrates that over two days in a weekend, how quickly the virus can spread, and the importance to restrict your social interactions. If you were to half your social interactions and perhaps go out one night of the weekend, that would help greatly."