The Irish government is imposing Level 3 restrictions on County Donegal from midnight on Friday following a dramatic increase in the incidence of Covid-19 infections in the county. The number of cases per 100,000 of the population more than doubled in the last week. The Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, Rt Rev Andrew Forster, said the decision to tighten restrictions was “disappointing” but “hardly surprising”, given the rising number of cases.
Bishop Andrew’s statement in full:
The announcement of tighter restrictions again, in County Donegal, is hardly surprising. The recent rise in the number of cases in the county left the authorities will little option. So, while the decision is disappointing, we must give our full support to these efforts to suppress the virus.
Our parishioners and clergy have already been heroic in the face of the coronavirus pandemic – in how they’ve responded to the challenge, how they’ve reordered their lives and how they’ve reimagined worship. Now, the Donegal side of our Derry and Raphoe family is being tested once again. Our church buildings, there, will close for public worship again with immediate effect, and those services will once more move exclusively online.
We all have a role to play in defeating this virus. I implore you to heed the advice of the authorities. In doing so, we will be showing our love for our neighbours, as well as our families and friends, and make no mistake: we will be saving lives.
I pray for God’s enlightenment for the scientists searching for a vaccine; I pray for His guidance for all our leaders as they guide us through this grave crisis; I thank God for the healthcare workers who have been unstinting in their bravery and generosity and compassion; I thank God for the essential services workers who have looked after us all for the last six months; and I pray that whatever the future brings, God will continue to hold you close to Him and that He will remain your refuge and strength.