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HSE reports increase in numbers requiring self-isolation at CityWest

On Wednesday, there were 139 people in total using the self-isolation facilities.

Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

THE HSE SAYS there has been an increase in the uptake of self-isolation facilities at CityWest hotel.

On Wednesday, there were 139 people in total using the self-isolation facilities, including 66 healthcare workers who have either been recruited from abroad or who have tested positive and need somewhere to isolate.

There were 73 people from the general population who had been referred by a GP or public health because they could not self-isolate at home.

HSE Chief Operations Officer Dr Anne O’Connor said there has been a recent increase in uptake of CityWest facilities and the health service is expecting it to get busier.

The facility is available to anyone who is unable to self-isolate, including those living with a confirmed case if the patient needs remain in their own home for care. Some 1,413 people in total have used the facility.

O’Connor said there is another small facility in Temple Bar, initially set up for people who are homeless and for members of the Roma community.

“What we actually found is that in the homeless sector, the whole Covid experience has been managed so well that, in fact, it was more the Roma community [who needed it],” she told TheJournal.ie.

“We knew early on that we were experiencing outbreaks in the Roma community. There are very small numbers in there and there’s more capacity available in that facility.”

Residents at Direct Provision centres can also self-isolate at CityWest and this will be vital when serial testing at Direct Provision accommodation begins. The HSE has said it is working out the final details for this mass-testing of residents with the Department of Justice.

“The Department of Justice had their own self-isolation facilities in different places around the country that they then closed and we took people to CityWest,” Dr O’Connor said.

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The contract for use of the hotel facilities runs until October and it is unclear whether the HSE will extend this contract.

The HSE told TheJournal.ie that the requirement for the on-going provision of self-isolation facilities beyond October is being examined with a decision soon to be finalised.

Dr O’Connor said the facilities at the hotel have worked well for this service.

“The systems and processes at CityWest are really good as a facility in terms of its whole structure, the outdoor grounds, it’s ideally located,” she said.

“With self-isolation there are other things we have to take into account such as access to a GP practice, in CityWest we have a GP practice involved. We have a whole walkway exercise path – one of the biggest [issues] for people in isolation is actually their mental health.”

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