nursing homes

  • The HSE is to start testing nursing home residents living where NO Covid-19 clusters have been found.

    Yesterday saw the country's highest number of deaths in a single day recorded, with a further 41 people losing their lives after being infected with the virus - including 4 more deaths in the West of Ireland.

    548 new cases of the virus were detected in the past 24 hours, while there were 284 positive tests sent back from German labs.

    The total number of confirmed cases here now stands at 11,479.

    The latest breakdown by county shows 198 confirmed cases in Mayo, 220 in Co Galway, 52 in Sligo and 48 in Roscommon.

    406 people have now died in this country -187 of the deaths occurred in nursing homes.

    The State's Chief medical officer Tony Holohan says his team is trying to stop the virus getting into nursing homes in the first place:


    A number of nursing homes across the county insist the report of deaths due to confirmed or suspected COVID 19, reported on Midwest news today, are incorrect.

    The numbers from a confidential HSE report, were published in today’s Irish Times.

    The Pilgrims Rest in Westport, Claremount Nursing Home in Claremorris and Ballinamore House Nursing Home in Kiltimagh have all contacted the newsroom this afternoon and have clearly stated  that the number of deaths related to confirmed or suspected Covid 19 cases in their facilities reported, were inaccurate.

    The figures were obtained from a report in today’s (Thurs) Irish Times , where the paper stated they received the numbers nationally from a confidential HSE compilation.

    The published figures contained both confirmed and suspected cases of Covid-19 and related deaths, in 167 nursing homes and residential care facilities around the country.

    The Manager of Claremount Nursing Home in Claremorris has categorically refuted the figure published in the Irish Times and reported on our lunchtime news.

    In a statement to Midwest News this afternoon the owner of Ballinamore House Nursing Home in Kiltimagh said “it is an erroneous view that a resident at their home died with Covid19”. The facility owned by Raicam Holdings, state that there has been no death from Covid 19 at the centre. The owner added “our centre (Ballinamore Nursing Home, Kiltimagh) is free from Covid 19”.

    The Pilgrims Rest facility in Westport says the figures published in respect of Covid-19 confirmed or suspected deaths in its facility are “incorrect and untrue”.

     Midwest Radio apologises for any upset that the report caused to the owners, staff and residents at the nursing homes.

    Radio Station Manager Tommy Marren said on Thursday’s Evening Edition that these facilities, or any other nursing home cited in the report that dispute the figures, are very welcome to contact Midwest radio Current Affairs or News departments and a right of reply will be available.

  • The Department of Health announced yesterday evening that a further 77 people who had been diagnosed with Covid-19 have died, bringing the overall death toll in Ireland to 687.

    401 more cases of the coronavirus have also been confirmed in the Republic, bringing the overall number of  cases here to 15,652.

    Of the additional deaths announced four were in the west of the country.

    The number of confirmed cases of the virus in Mayo now stands at 332, 294 cases in Galway , 91 in Roscommon and 78 in Sligo.

    At yesterday’s monthly meeting of Mayo County Council what was described as “the high incidents of confirmed cases of the virus in Mayo compared to the significantly higher populated county of Galway”, was raised by the Cathaoirleach of Castlebar Michael Kilcoyne.

    The cllr called for answers from Saolta on why that’s the case and in addition asked why the number of staff out of work at MUH with either confirmed or suspected cases of Covid 19 is also the highest in any of the hospitals in the Saolta group.

    Midwest News put both questions to the Saolta press office yesterday and we  await a response

    In a statement by Mayo County Council to cllrs yesterday the CEO of the authority Peter Hynes stated that the COVID 19 outbreak in Mayo continues to escalate particularly in residential care facilities. “We have new hotspots in the North of the County. This is a major concern, as is the age profile of our community and the large number of residential care and retirement facilities , both public and private throughout the county.

    He added that adherence to HSE guidelines, travel restrictions and social distancing will play a major part in determining how quickly the outbreak here can be brought under control.

  • The Minister for Health Simon Harris has said "more restrictions", including the potential widespread closure of schools, may be needed if Ireland is to successfully overcome the coronavirus outbreak.

    Speaking on national media, Minister Harris said any new restrictions need to be "introduced at the right time" to ensure they have the best effect, and he warned that we are going to see a lot more cases here.

    His comments came after the biggest daily jump in the number of Covid-19 cases in the country, with the confirmation of ten new cases yesterday - including a male and a female in the west of Ireland, both associated with close contact with a confirmed case.

    The minister defended the Government's decision not to ban travel to this country from affected areas, or close schools to date, but said there may be a time when schools are closed, but in the meantime, people should take the necessary precautions to look after themselves, their familes and their communities . 

    The Department of Education says it's continuing to review the situation with public health officials on a daily basis - due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

    Meanwhile, Nursing Homes Ireland says it believes visitor restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID 19 are responsible.

    It's after the Department of Health said the measures were not necessary at this moment in time.

    Some nursing homes have limited the times and number of visitors residents can have, and have put bans on children coming to visit.

    Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan says there's no need for the restrictions. 

  • More immediate action is needed to address the critical staffing shortages in many nursing homes at present due to the spread of Covid-19. That’s the view of Galway based Independent Senator Ronan Mullen.

    The Senator is calling for the establishment of an Oireachtas public health support committee, assisted by experts, to liaise in private session with the Government and the National Public Health Emergency Team to act on what he describes as “an emergency".

    Hard questions and solutions around the management of Covid-19 in nursing homes now need to be asked of both the government and the National Public Health Emergency Team, he says.

    Speaking to Midwest News the senator is asked if the huge response by volunteers in the community to the pandemic two weeks ago could now be directed to the urgent needs of many nursing homes.

  • Nursing homes are to receive 30 million euro in funding to protect the most vulnerable against a second wave of Covid-19.

    Health Minister Stephen Donnelly is expected to announce the winter cash injection today.

    According to the Irish Independent, the funding will cover things like extra staff and PPE.

  • With the number of cases of Covid-19 increasing in the community, people visiting elderly and vulnerable relatives in nursing homes should be extra-vigilant and ensure all Covid-19 regulations are strictly adhered to.

    That's the message from Tadhg Daly of Nursing Homes Ireland.

    With the winter season approaching, and the threat of flu as well as coronavirus, he says it's essential that nursing homes residents are protected from viruses.

    While nursing homes have been allowing restricted visitors over the past number of weeks, Tadhg Daly told Midwest News that, with the spike in Covid-19 cases nationally, everyone has an obligation to protect elderly nursing home residents as much as possible....

  • A member of the Covid-19 Expert Panel on Nursing Homes says it would be nice if nursing home residents could avail of the rapid testing turnaround times afforded to the Health Minister.

    Minister Stephen Donnelly began to fell unwell yesterday afternoon following a cabinet meeting, and was tested and given a negative result within a few hours.

    There are currently 41 active outbreaks of the virus in nursing homes nationwide with a system of serial testing now in place.

    Professor Cillian Twomey has told the covid-19 response committee today that residents would benefit from rapid turnaround times given the devastation caused to the sector during the pandemic.

  • History will record that as a state we 'spectacularly failed the nursing home sector' during the pandemic. That’s the view of Sligo Leitrim TD Marc MacSharry

    The Fianna Fail TD, who was commenting on the high mortality rates in nursing home settings from the coronavirus, has called for stringent measures to be implemented quickly in settings with vulnerable people from now on to deal with the public health crises.

    Deputy MacSharry told Midwest News that he believes that more stringent measures should have been implemented sooner to save lives in the sector.

  • Small, outdoor concerts will be held on the grounds of nursing homes as part of a new government wellbeing plan.

    The Keep Well campaign has a number of resources aimed at helping people get through lockdown.

    It includes socially distant concerts at care settings, online access to library books and Christmas craft workshops and resources for eating well.

    Minister of State for Public Health, Frankie Feighan, says it's important people continue to look after themselves.