Covid-19 outbreak at Kildare nursing home claims nine lives

Virus infects 40 residents and 40 staff at Beech Park nursing home since mid-January

A Covid-19 outbreak at a Co Kildare nursing home has claimed the lives of nine residents and led to a further 31 becoming infected in addition to 40 cases among staff.

Beech Park Nursing Home outside Kildare town is still battling the outbreak of infections declared on January 16th that infected many of its residents and staff.

The 47-bed nursing home, which has 55 staff, said that many of the infected residents were out of isolation and 11 staff were back at work. Five residents and staff are still being treated in hospital and 28 residents remain Covid positive.

“It is, however, with deep sadness that we confirm the deaths of nine of our residents as a result of having contracted Covid-19 over this tragic period. A further three residents and two members of staff remain in hospital,” the privately-owned nursing home said.

“We extend our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of those who have died, and our thoughts and prayers are very much with them and those still receiving hospital treatment at this time.”

Beech Park, part of the Beechfield Care Group, said it was liaising with the families of residents on an ongoing basis and maintaining daily phone contact with staff members affected by the virus.

The nursing home said additional senior management and staff had been deployed to manage the outbreak. The group’s four other nursing homes, all in Dublin, have no declared cases of Covid-19 at this time, it said.

Deaths

There were 369 deaths associated with Covid-19 at nursing homes in January, the Department of Health told an Oireachtas health committee on Tuesday.

This accounts for 37 per cent of more than 1,000 deaths during the month, the worst month of the pandemic as the post-Christmas third wave of the virus has led to record numbers of infections, hospitalisations and deaths.

The department said there were 193 outbreaks in nursing homes, with 4,300 residents and staff infected. Some 37 per cent of cases are healthcare workers.

The Health Service Executive is in the process of delivering the second dose of the two-dose vaccine to nursing-home residents and staff and “mop-up vaccinations” to residents and staff who missed the first dose and have not had Covid symptoms for 28 days.

There have been a further two deaths at another Covid-19 outbreak, in the Royal Hospital Donnybrook in Dublin, where more than a quarter of the residents contracted the virus since early January.

In total, five residents have died with Covid-19, after 23 of the 81 residents tested positive last month.

The south Dublin facility provides step-down rehabilitation care for patients following treatment or surgery in St Vincent’s hospital, as well as a number of nursing-home wards.

A spokeswoman for the hospital said 21 patients who had tested positive had now recovered. There had been a small number of new confirmed cases in the past week.

“The number of confirmed cases is reducing. The number of positive patients has now reduced to nine out of 78,” the spokeswoman said.

“The number of staff out due to Covid remains the same at 38 currently off work, and we hope all those who are ill recover quickly and fully,” she said.

The spokeswoman said the hospital wished to extend its “sincere sympathy to the families and loved ones” of those who had died.