Dublin care homes hit by outbreaks
4 hrs ago
Close Up Of Senior Man With Hands On Walking Frame Being Helped By Care Worker
Outbreaks of Covid-19 have hit a number of north Dublin nursing homes in the past fortnight – with one currently dealing with 18 cases among residents and staff, according to medical sources.
The affected nursing homes are understood to include the Raheny Nursing Home unit, which is operated by Beaumont Hospital. The hospital is understood to have deployed additional staff to the facility in recent days.
Eighteen residents and staff at Anovo Nursing Home in Swords, Co Dublin, are understood to have contracted the virus. The nursing home confirmed on Friday that a number of residents and staff had tested positive and families and relevant health authorities had been informed.
The HSE and Beaumont Hospital said they could not comment on individual cases or outbreaks. However, medical sources said that 40 staff and residents with Covid-19 have been identified in one north Dublin nursing home.
Public health doctors warned of a marked increase in the numbers of Covid-19 in nursing homes in the last two weeks.
On October 3, chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan reported 11 new clusters in nursing homes and 86 linked cases. But on Friday, two weeks later, the Health Information and Quality Authority reported that 170 nursing homes across the country were currently dealing with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 outbreaks.
The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has also separately reported recently that 11 new outbreaks in nursing homes had occurred in a week.
The affected nursing homes include Brindley Manor in Convoy, Donegal – which had one of the highest rates of Covid-19 in the county – where 30 residents tested positive for the virus.
Four residents died at Kilminchy Lodge nursing home in Co Laois, which is also owned by the Brindley Group.
In a statement, the nursing home said: “Sadly, there has now been four residents who have passed away having tested positive for Covid-19.”
Stephen McMahon, of the Irish Patients’ Association, said: “The major concern now is that almost a third of the entire stock of nursing homes in Ireland now have Covid-19 outbreaks. While they are better prepared now in terms of PPE and surveillance this time around, it is really concerning that this level of virus is circulating among the most vulnerable groups.
“We have to ensure that these latest outbreaks don’t have the same tragic impact on vulnerable residents as the last time.”
At a briefing by the Health Service Executive, the chief medical officer warned that if Covid-19 continues to spread at its current levels in the community, it will be impossible to keep the virus out of nursing homes.
Dr Siobhán Kennelly, clinical lead for older people, also told the briefing public health officials had seen a clear increase in the numbers of nursing home outbreaks.
She added that it was “extremely difficult” to keep the virus from entering nursing homes because the people who work there all live in the community.