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Outbreak of Covid-19 among residents and staff at Dublin nursing home

Residents and staff who tested positive are now isolating.

AnovoCare Nursing Home in Swords.
AnovoCare Nursing Home in Swords.
Image: Trinity Care

A NURSING HOME in Dublin is currently dealing with an outbreak of Covid-19 among staff and residents.

Anovocare Nursing Home in Swords confirmed to TheJournal.ie that it is dealing with a number of confirmed cases of the disease.

It said residents and staff who have tested positive for Covid-19 are now isolating.

“Families and Hiqa have been fully informed and are being updated on a continuous basis.

“We are working closely with the HSE Public Health Team and we would like to thank them for their assistance and guidance. We thank our residents and families for their ongoing support and co-operation.

“We would especially like to thank our hard working and dedicated staff and pay tribute to them for their assistance in appropriately implementing our Covid response plans and managing this issue effectively.”

The nursing home declined to confirm the number of cases identified.

“It would be inappropriate to comment further as these are personal health-related matters for those affected,” it said.

The Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) confirmed it was made aware of the outbreak at AnovoCare Nursing Home and said it is liaising with the provider on a daily basis.

“The provider has complied with their statutory obligation to notify the Chief Inspector of the outbreak.”

According to data from the Health Protection Surveillance  Centre, there have been 11 new outbreaks in nursing homes over the last week, with 40 open outbreaks in total now across the country.

Earlier this week, Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan warned that it would be “impossible” to keep Covid-19 out of nursing homes if the level of community transmission remains at current levels or rises. 

At today’s HSE briefing, Dr Siobhán Kennelly, clinical lead for older people, reiterated that message. 

“I think it’s reasonable to say that as community transmission rates have gone up, we’ve clearly seen an increase in the number of nursing home outbreaks.

She said it is “extremely difficult” to shield nursing homes because all staff – the caterers, the cleaners, the healthcare attendants and the nurses – all live in the community.

Around 180 healthcare workers from nursing homes are currently out of work due to Covid-19, either because they have tested positive or because they are a close contact and are required to isolate. 

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“We’ve made huge progress with the screening exercise in terms of early identification of staff who may be asymptomatic but clearly we can see the correlation that’s emerging between the rates of community transmission,” Dr Kennelly said.

“We know that outbreaks really dropped in these settings in June and July. And we can see that as the rate of community transmission has gone up – even though there’s a bit of a lag – the nursing home outbreaks have started to tick up as well.”

She said this has highlighted the risks posed by uncontrolled transmission for the most vulnerable cohort, even with all of the supports that have been put in place within the nursing homes.

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