'Devastating' Covid-19 outbreak claims more lives at Laois nursing home but many residents now post-Covid

Stradbally nursing home management praise staff and people of Laois and extends sympathies to families

Conor Ganly

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Conor Ganly

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news@leinsterexpress.ie

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Droimnín Nursing Home Stradbally

Covid-19 has claimed more lives in the fourth week of an outbreak at a Laois nursing home where eleven people have died and a small number of patients are still unwell.

Mr Gearóid Brennan, Chief Executive of the Brookhaven Healthcare Group that runs the home, confirmed the eleventh death in a statement which outlined the status of the outbreak end extended sympathies to families on their 'devastating' loss.

He said that the latest two people to succumb to the disease passed away on Saturday, January 16. It means that so far, four women and seven men have died in the outbreak which began in late December and claimed its first victim on January 4.

Mr Brennan said that a small number of residents are still unwell but the vast majority, however, are now ‘post Covid’ and exhibiting no symptoms. There were 65 residents in the home when the outbreak began.

As for staff, the CEO said 36 employees have tested positive while the 39 remain negative (Non-Detected). He added that many of the staff who tested positive in the early stages are back at work and this has improved things in terms of workload pressure.

Mr Brennan said staffing from external sources is being used to ensure that all residents receive the best possible care at this difficult time.

He added that regular testing of staff also continues with one round on Monday morning, January 18 and a further one scheduled for this Wednesday, January 20. 

The CEO extended his sympathies to families

"On behalf of Droimnín Nursing Home, I would like to express my deepest sympathy to the families of the eleven resident who have died. This has been a devastating time for them.

"The loss of our residents has also had a huge impact on the staff of Droimnín who have lost people they have cared closely for and grown to know and love.

"We are facilitating compassionate visit by the families of all residents who are under stress or are critical from Covid, and we maintain contact with all families each day," he said.

Mr Brennan paid tribute to all who have worked at the home. 

"I would like to say a huge thanks to all our staff for their exceptional work at this critical time and for the sensitive way in which they continue to look after all our residents," he said.

He also took the opportunity to thank local people.

"I would also like to pay tribute to the people of Stradbally / Portlaoise and surrounding areas for their empathy and support. We receive daily gifts and offers of support into the nursing home. The kind and caring nature of the people Laois has shone through at this time and on behalf of all in Droimnín, I say a huge thanks," he said.

The CEO provided an update on vaccinations.

"Our sister nursing home in Brookhaven Ballyragget, which has a large group of Residents form Laois, received its vaccinations yesterday and we are delighted with that. Droimnín was originally scheduled to receive it’s vaccinations tomorrow, January 19," he said.

The home has been contacted and advised to organise the vaccinations but no actual date has been given yet. Mr Brennan said the home is hoping that vaccines will arrive within the next week. He added that ‘non-detected’ residents and staff will be vaccinated. Staff and residents who contracted the virus must be clear for four weeks before it can be administered.