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28 Sept 2022

Prisoners and prison officers work together to keep Covid-19 out says Irish Red Cross

Portlaoise hospital has worked closely with prison authorities

Portlaoise Prison

Portlaoise Prison

Prisons in Portlaoise and elsewhere in Ireland are still without a confirmed case of Coronavirus thanks to the extraordinary efforts of the Irish Red Cross volunteers and co-operation between prisoners and officers, according to the Irish Red Cross.

International Red Cross Day is celebrated on May 8. Irish Red Cross (IRC) Chairperson Pat Carey chose the occasion to thank volunteers for their hard work during the Covid-19 crisis. He outlined what has happened in jails which have been closed to visitors for weeks as part of the national lockdown.

"Irish prisons are still without a confirmed case of Coronavirus thanks to the extraordinary efforts of in-prison IRC volunteers who have been working closely with prison authorities, distributing information about the virus and ensuring that proper infection prevention procedures are in place.

"The prisoners and prison officers have worked together to ensure that the prisons remain virus-free," he said.

Sandra McCarthy is Director of Nursing at the Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise. She told the Leinster Express that  the hospital has worked closely with prison authorities in Portlaoise which is the location for Ireland's biggest prison campus. 

"We've done a lot of work with the Prison Service as well. It is important that we recognise them as a population that requires further assistance. We've had teleconferences with them looking at symptoms etc. I believe they haven't had any outbreak but we have planned as to how we will be there to assist.

She said preparation for an outbreak is ongoing.

"We have to look at the security plan for them clinical plan and how we can support the medical services that they have on-site augmented with decisions here to link in. They have a system if they're sending anybody over to us the will phone ahead," she said.

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