Thu, 14 Jan, 2021 – 06:30
More than 15 outbreaks of Covid-19 in long-term care facilities and nursing homes are been managed or investigated in the Mid-West region, according to the Department of Public Health Mid-West.
“This is in addition to investigating separate cases at a number of facilities across Limerick, Clare and North Tipperary,” a spokesperson said.
It comes as a nursing home in Newcastle West, Co Limerick, says it is “finally turning the corner” after it spent the last three weeks battling a Covid outbreak.
Killeline nursing home, which is managed by Windmill Healthcare, first reported an outbreak before Christmas after several members of staff tested positive for the virus.
In the following weeks, eight residents died with Covid-19, while a number of staff also contracted it.
However, Windmill Healthcare chief executive Pat Kennedy is hopeful the situation is under control now, following “a suite of negative test results for staff and residents last week”.
The home hopes this will continue following further screening this week.
It has been a very sad time for all the staff and residents at Killeline and especially the deceased residents who were part of a close family here at the care centre.
“Fortunately, residents and staff are recovering from the Covid-19 virus and all staff have returned to work,” said Mr Kennedy.
Meanwhile, a nursing home in Co Wicklow is reportedly looking for volunteers to help run its services as it faces potential staff shortages.
Knockrobin Hill Care Home in Wicklow town sent a letter to family members asking them to join a pool of volunteers which would help with duties at the home.
Of the 70 residents at the home, 20 have tested positive as well as four staff members.
Speaking on RTÉ News at One, James White, CEO of Curam Healthcare, which runs Knockrobin Hill, said the letter issued to families is part of the care home’s contingency plan.
“The reason for the letter going out to patients’ families was to see if any of them would like to become part of a pool to volunteer to help on the phones or to help with the laundry or in catering or serving food,” said Mr White.
When contacted by the Irish Examiner, Curam Care Homes declined to comment on the ongoing situation.
As of January 9, there were more than 100 open Covid-19 outbreaks in nursing homes across Ireland. This includes over 50 new outbreaks being reported since January 1, according to figures by the HSE for a weekly report by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre.
Since March 3 of last year, there have been 500 outbreaks in nursing homes and community hospital/long stay units, with 9,113 linked laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 cases, the report found.
Tadhg Daly, the Chief Executive of Nursing Homes Ireland said: “There has been a significant increase in outbreaks over the last number of weeks and, in particular, we’re concerned with the increase in the outbreaks since the 1st of January. It very much mirrors the situation of high levels of community transmission and these high levels are having a significant impact on nursing homes.”Nursing homes on high alert as Covid-19 spreads rapidly