BREAKING Laois nursing home dealing with 31 cases of Covid-19

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Email:

news@leinsterexpress.ie

coronavirus covid-19

Kilminchy Lodge Nursing Home in Portlaoise

The management of a nursing home in Portlaoise has confirmed that they are dealing with a significant Covid-19 outbreak. 

A statement from the Kilminchy Lodge Nursing Home, which is located off the town's Dublin Road, confirmed that the facility is currently dealing with 31 confirmed cases of the coronavirus. It said 21 of these cases relate to their residents and 10 to their members of staff. The facility has capacity for 52 residents.

"Since we had confirmed cases towards the end of last week, all family members were contacted and have been updated on a continuous basis.  A Family Liaison Officer was appointed last evening (October 5) at the nursing home and is engaging with relatives of residents at the home. All families have been contacted directly by telephone between last night and this morning and have been given status updates on the health, welfare and care of their relative.

"In line with Public Health protocols and guidelines, residents who have tested positive for the virus are isolating in their rooms.  We cannot comment on the status of these cases as they are personal health-related matters. 

"Our Director of Nursing is leading the care team at the nursing home and is working closely with Public Health to ensure appropriate measures are put in place to contain the virus. 

"We would like to thank all our staff for their dedication, selfless efforts, and tireless work. We would also like to acknowledge the tremendous support given by our lead inspector at HIQA.  Kilminchy Lodge Nursing Home remains fully operational but is closed to visitor and non-essential visitors in line with Level 3 government restrictions," concluded the statement.

The scale of the virus in the home is bigger than what had been reported on Monday when the Leinster Express learned that between 15 and 18 people had tested positive.

The family member of one resident praised staff but called for more information.

"The staff are wonderful in there and this is a horrific situation for them, but transparency is needed given the fears the many families involved have," the individual told the Leinster Express.

Laois Offaly Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley said the emergence of cases was very concerning.

"The news that Kilminchy Lodge Nursing Home in Portlaoise has confirmed that it is dealing with 31 associated cases - 21 amongst residents and 10 amongst staff - is a very concerning development.

"I have contacted the HSE about this outbreak, and have sought answers as to what is being done to contain the situation in the nursing home, what support is being made available and whether HSE staff are being made available to assist with the situation.

"This is undoubtedly a difficult time for the residents, staff and residents involved. It is important that everything possible is done to support them. My office and I are available to assist in any way we can."

In its most recent inspection report of the facility in 2019, the Health Information Quality Authority said the single-storey purpose-built centre is staffed by qualified nursing and care staff at all times and caters for residents whose dependency levels range from low to maximum.

HIQA said it accommodates both female and male residents over the age of 18 years with a wide range of care needs. The report said the centre can accommodate up to 52 residents. It has 44 single rooms, 36 of which have ensuite facilities. Some of the en-suite facilities are shared between two bedrooms.

Responding to the Leinster Express prior to the issuing of the statement, the HSE said that if there is an outbreak at any residential centre, its Department of Public Health sets up an Outbreak Control Team and provides advice and guidance on issues such as: 

·       management of positive patients

·       information on symptoms and actions to be taken if develop symptoms

·       how and when to self-isolate

·       cleaning

·       Infection Prevention and Control advice

·       symptom monitoring for close contacts

It said the Department of Public Health will also advise what arrangements need to be in place for those who need to self-isolate.