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Dublin: 13 °C Saturday 11 July, 2020
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In the red: 75 residential care facilities at 'significant risk in terms of operation', says HSE

Testing has been ramped up in nursing homes for staff and residents in recent days.

Image: Shutterstock/Photographee.eu

THE HSE HAS ranked some 75 long-term residential facilities, such as nursing homes and mental health residential care centres, in the ‘red’ zone and at ‘significant risk’ due to the Covid-19 pandemic in Ireland. 

As part of its monitoring process around clusters and outbreaks in long-term care facilities, the national health service has established a green, amber and red ranking system. 

Within this, it has deemed that 75 facilities – around 18% – are in the red zone and at ‘significant risk’ due to Covid-19, while 129 – or around 30% of those – are in the ‘amber’ zone, meaning they continue to require intervention and enhance supports to continue operating safely. 

The remaining 221 facilities are in the ‘green’ zone, meaning that some intervention was needed but they are operating in a stable manner at present.  

“So 221 are considered to be green, where they are carrying on with minimal support, we have a further 129 who continue to require significant enhanced supports… with 75 in the red category where we see there could be a significant risk in terms of operation,” Anne O’Connor, chief operations officer at the HSE said. 

“When we look at the support that’s been provided across the nursing homes, we’re providing support to 285 nursing homes, so in terms of the different facilities we talk about, we have 287 relate to older person but also 82 that relate to disability services, 33 for mental health and 23 other types of facilities that are addiction and other services.

“The main supports provided are 303 are tele-advice, infection prevention and control support is in 283, public health support to 267, and PPE supplied to 298.”

Asked if there was a risk that the spread of the Covid-19 virus in these facilities was related the patients leaving hospitals and entering care settings, the HSE said there was no evidence. 

Testing has been ramped up in nursing homes for staff and residents in recent days. 

Yesterday it emerged that 21 people with a confirmed case of Covid-19 have died at one older person care home in Dublin.

St Mary’s Hospital in the Phoenix Park, Co Dublin is run by the HSE and cares for older people.

Health Minister Simon Harris today offered his sympathies to residents and staff of St Mary’s and said “I can’t imagine how traumatic that is”.

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