Important Notice: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
A printable version of this document can be found here.
RE: Important Notice: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
Dear clients and friends of Barnes Equestrian,
With regards to the current worldwide climate and the spread COVID-19, also known as Coronavirus, it’s important for Barnes Equestrian to consider the safety of clients and to think of the impact of the virus on the yard. It’s time to consider the impact it can potentially have on you and I as well as business in general.
As of today, the Irish government have declared that indoor gatherings of less than 100 people and outdoor gatherings of more than 500 people should be cancelled. Schools and childcare facilities are to close. Restaurants and cafes are to implement safeguards to limit the spread of the virus. The current goal is centred around containment of the virus and delaying the spread.
Barnes Equestrian will follow public health advice and advice from the government. This means keeping ourselves informed and acting rationally in these uncertain times.
Social-distancing and social-isolation is officially being advised.
COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and therefore now is the time to be most vigilant. This document explores what we can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and potential courses of action should the virus spread to the yard or anybody on it. We have to work together to prevent the spread to those most vulnerable.
This document (Important Notice: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)) is to give clear information on how to deal with CONVID-19 and to outline possible courses of action Barnes Equestrian may have to tale.
Symptoms of COVID-19
Symptoms of COVID-19 are as follows:
- Cough (can be any type of cough)
- High Temperature (Fever)
- Shortness of Breath
- Breathing Difficulties
It can take 14 days for symptoms of COVID-19 to take effect. On average symptoms may appear as soon as 5 days.
You may show some or many of these symptoms but that also may not mean you have COVID-19. These symptoms can be similar to the common cold or flu. Please stay vigilant if you show symptoms and believe you may have contradicted the virus.
What to do if you show symptoms
As of now, the advice if you display any of these symptoms in Ireland is to not worry if you haven’t been to an affected area or if you haven’t met someone with the virus. It is believed that unless you’ve been in close contact with the virus, you likely won’t have it even if you show these symptoms – it’s likely not COVID-19.
However if your symptoms are concerning enough that you would usually visit a GP to seek medical aid, then call the doctor. Explain the symptoms and follow their medical advice. In cases of severe lung infections, your doctor may require a COVID-19 test.
I personally feel it’s important to look to our closest neighbours and see what the advice is there in the midst of a wider outbreak than here in Ireland.
In the U.K, if you start showing any of the above symptoms, the advice is to:
Stay at home and avoid close contact with other people.
DO NOT visit a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
Always call your GP or the emergency services if symptoms are serious enough and follow their advice. Do not put other lives in danger by showing up unannounced.
How is COVID-19 spread?
COVID-19 is spread in droplets from sneezing or coughing. The infected person discharges fluid from their nose or mouth and then you absorb them through your mucus membranes – through your mouth, nose and eyes.
This transfer of the virus can happen directly or indirectly. This means that you may be able to contract the virus through objects, your hands or other surfaces.
How to minimise your chances of contracting COVID-19
There are several ways you can help minimise your chances of spreading and contracting COVID-19. The HSE and NHS websites give a list of Dos and Don’ts. They are as follows:
- Wash your hands properly and often (for at least 20 seconds)
- Use sanitiser when soap and water isn’t available.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze to prevent the spread of germs.
- Always put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands.
- Frequently touched surfaces and objects should be cleaned and disinfected frequently. .
- Avoid close contact with people who are not well.
- Follow government issued travel advice.
- When sick, be sure to stay at home to avoid spreading whatever infection you may have.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
- Do not share objects that touch your mouth (for example bottles, cups, forks.)
What is Barnes Equestrian doing to minimise exposure to the yard?
For now and until something drastically changes, Barnes Equestrian is open for business as usual. I see no reason to change that.
I want to welcome good hygiene. Please do feel free to wash your hands on arrival and when leaving. Due to the shortage of hand sanitiser around the local vicinity you may do so at the house and then dry your hands with disposable towels. When possible I plan to purchase sanitiser and dispensers for the yard.
Dust masks will also be available when it’s possible to purchase them again. This helps on a couple of levels.
- COVID-19 is a respiratory virus and exposure to dust particles can exasperate the condition. Using a dust mask can prevent inhalation of particles.
- If you show any symptoms, especially a cough, wearing a mask will aid in preventing the spread of the virus by coughing. It can aid in limiting the spread of droplets.
If wearing gloves, please remember that they do not replace the need to wash hands and you should still wash your hands before and after wearing them. The virus can stay on the gloves just like it can your skin.
This initial response is hygiene focused.
You may wish to take the extra step and source 1910.133 standard safety goggles. Doing so may prevent the urge to unknowingly touch your face and expose the mucus membranes to the virus. However this should be a preventative taken at your own discretion.
However, I’d like to point out that the virus can be absorbed via your eyes, nose and mouth. There are specific masks that can filter viral particles but please consider the impact of purchasing those masks on the worlds health services. Also remember that ideally, the entirety of the face should be sealed to prevent exposure to the virus. This means that a mask alone isn’t likely to stop you from getting COVID-19.
The yard tools and any surfaces will be washed down with cleaned to prevent the spread of the virus.
What you can do to help us
To help, simply use common sense. Keep on top of the virus’ spread around the locality and stay vigilant. If you feel ill or are suffering any of the symptoms of COVID-19, do not come out to the yard.
- Educate yourself on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Make use of available hygiene options at Barnes Equestrian.
- Do not downplay your condition.
- Do follow the instructions in this document and follow advice from the HSE.
- If in doubt, keep out.
Do not put yourself or others at risk.
What is our plan in the event of a local outbreak?
The reality is simple. There are at-risk people on the yard at Barnes Equestrian. I have to make it my responsibility to prevent the virus reaching them.
I believe it’s logical to explore closing the yard in line with developments in the spread of COVID-19. In these events visitation to the yard may be limited or even be completely restricted altogether. Safety is paramount and this decision won’t be taken lightly.
If things go this far, please remember that it is for your safety and my own.
I will monitor the situation in Ireland. Social-distancing is recommended by the government. I will always consider the safety of the yard. At this time, you need to know this is a real possibility to protect everyone who comes to the yard.
Clients have lives outside of the yard. As do I. Exposure in our daily lives is hard to control, especially when visiting people or even shopping. We can do everything right ourselves but it takes one careless person in our path to not care and expose us to the virus. The same goes for myself when I go into town for supplies.
There may be others on the yard who have higher risk relatives and we cannot allow the virus to spread to those people, doing so puts real lives in real danger.
With an incubation period of 5-14 days, we have to be vigilant and think ahead.
If you contract the virus or believe you may have it; or are showing symptoms of it, please inform me privately and as soon as possible. There is no judgement nor stigma. Do not visit the yard.
You may contact me by:
Phone or text: +353 85 120 4749
Via WhatsApp at the above number.
Instagram or Facebook @BarnesEQ
In the event of a shutdown of the yard and the facilities, horses will be looked after as usual and a reduction in weekly livery rates may be applied in this time dependant on the service being provided. A decision to shutdown won’t be taken lightly.
Please be aware: If you travel outside of Ireland to an affected country; upon arrival back into Ireland, I request that you quarantine yourself from the yard for a period of 14 days. This is not an excessive measure but a preventative measure.
If a member of the Barnes Equestrian team contracts the virus
In the event of a yard member or staff contracting the COVID-19 virus, the yard will have to go on lockdown. This will mean that nobody will be permitted to enter the yard in this quarantine period. The main reason being that the yard is a residential premises as well as a yard.
Horses will still be cared for and looked after to the same high standard you’re used to.
In the unlikely event that myself and any yard help are infected, your horse may be turned out and live out with hay for the quarantine period. This is to prevent anyone infected contaminating objects around the yard and also to prevent anyone possibly living with or developing the virus having to work in a shavings and hay filled dusty environment that exasperates a weakened immune system. I do not wish to take risks with people’s health or their lives.
Self Isolation and social distancing
At the moment, many people displaying symptoms going into self isolation in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These people often may have been exposed to the virus and don’t wish to be the cause of the viral spread.
There are also examples of people practicing social-distancing in order to prevent themselves from contracting the virus. Both of these are now actively encouraged by the Irish government. We have to be responsible as individuals.
If you choose to go down this route, whatever your reasons, Barnes Equestrian will support your decision. Please inform us and let us know. We can always work with you. In such times, I will try to bring your horse to you virtually if you can’t be there in person. So expect some photo updates!
I’d like you all to consider social-distancing and social-isolation. These are very real and very logical options to limit the impact of the virus on yourselves and those you love. I will monitor the situation and may enforce restriction down the line. However, if at any time you wish to put these into practice now, reach out and let us know. You’ll have our full support.
My personal thoughts
For now, it’s important to act as individuals. Individually we share this burden and small changes by us all can impact the wider country. The virus is making an impact not only on personal levels but economic levels. Financially and otherwise this is a very real threat today. If we act now, we can limit the impact of COVID-19 sooner.
There are several common-sense examples of ways we can minimise the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19. Do not presume that everybody is taking the same care and precautions to limit the spread of the virus as you are. Do not become complacent and stay vigilant.
We, as individuals, cannot control everybody in society and there are examples of some extremely careless people with COVID-19. We can however do our part to keep us and those we care about as safe as possible.
Personal hygiene is vital. Do wash your hands frequently and access face masks or cover your mouth if you have a cough. It simply helps in preventing the spread of those droplets. Soap can be found at the house so use it. Use it on arrival and before leaving the yard.
Do not visit the yard if you’re ill or showing any symptoms. If the virus spreads, do not feel as though you have to be at the yard or expose yourself to be here. Your horse will be kept safe and happy. Your safety is important.
Look after yourselves and those you care about. Be vigilant. Be clean and remember, closure of the yard is a worst case scenario. I’m putting this out there because I want you to have faith that I am following events and that I am considering your health and safety as part of the Barnes Equestrian family.
If we can avoid spreading it amongst ourselves and to those most vulnerable in our society, we most certainly should take every opportunity to do so. I will update you on new measures as they are implemented.
Thank you for your support. Please stay vigilant.
Sources for the document
Health Service Executive (HSE): https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/coronavirus.html
National Health Service (NHS): https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) from the United States Department of Labor: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/controlprevention.html