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Eight residents at Limerick nursing home die following Covid-19 outbreak over Christmas

An outbreak was declared at at Killeline Care Centre shortly before Christmas.
Jan 5th 2021, 8:13 AM 46,060 18

A PRIVATE NURSING home in Co Limerick is managing a severe outbreak of Covid-19 after eight of its residents died over the past two weeks.

The eight residents at Killeline Care Centre in Newcastle West had tested positive for the virus after an outbreak was declared shortly before Christmas.

The outbreak, declared three weeks ago, escalated over the past fortnight as management attempted to manage the situation with support from the HSE.

The nursing home has close to 100 staff members caring for a maximum of 63 residents.

Sources said “the majority” of staff and 63 residents had tested positive for the virus. Some staff remain in self-isolation while others have isolated and returned to work.

There were 12 active cases of Covid-19 among residents yesterday, but the number of confirmed cases among staff was not disclosed.

Pat Kennedy, the CEO of Windmill Healthcare, which operates the centre, confirmed the deaths of eight residents in a statement last night.

“Unfortunately, and sadly, we must confirm that we have eight Covid-19 related deaths,” he said.

“This has been very upsetting for everyone, especially their loved ones, we would like to extend our deepest sympathies to all their families and extended friends.”

Kennedy also said that the centre’s management are scheduling to have residents given the Covid-19 vaccine on 18 January, adding that it would be vital if this could happen sooner.

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“The majority of our staff have now tested positive for Covid-19, as we are now three weeks into this outbreak, a high number of these staff are now recovered and back to work,” he said.

“The past three weeks has been an escalating scenario daily, but recent Covid-19 swabbing test results have indicated that the outbreak has now stabilised, and we expect that we will endure another difficult week before the cycle is complete.”

Windmill Healthcare operates six nursing homes and two retirement villages across Limerick, north Cork, Kerry, Galway and Offaly.

A Windmill spokesperson said there were no other confirmed cases across any of its centres.

When asked for comment, a HSE Mid West Community Healthcare spokesman said it would not comment on individual cases “in the interests of confidentiality for individuals concerned”.

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