The impact of the Omicron variant is being felt across frontline health services.

In the Saolta Hospital group  - which includes public hospitals in Mayo, Galway, Roscommon, Sligo and Donegal - there are currently in the region of 1200 staff absent from work either infected by the virus, or as close contacts.

That represents 11% of the total frontline health staff across the hospital group.

Meanwhile, due to the rising number of cases in the community, visiting is not being permitted at hospitals across the region, bar in exceptional circumstances and on compassionate grounds.

Visits must be pre-arranged by family members who should contact the relevant ward in advance, while separate arrangements remain in place for access to maternity departments for nominated partners.

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