Eight Covid-related deaths at Limerick nursing home in two weeks

Currently 12 Covid cases among residents at private Killeline Care Centre

Eight residents at a private nursing home in Co Limerick have died over the past two weeks after testing positive for Covid-19.

Windmill Healthcare, which operates Killeline Care Centre, Newcastle West, confirmed the deaths on Monday as it continues to manage an outbreak of the virus.

Pat Kennedy, chief executive of Windmill Healthcare, said: “Unfortunately, and sadly, we must confirm that we have eight Covid-19 related deaths. 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.”

He said management was “scheduling for a vaccine rollout on January 18th, and this cannot come quick enough” but that “it’s vital for it to be sooner if possible”.

The outbreak, declared three weeks ago after serial Covid testing at the home, escalated over the past fortnight.

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

Some staff remain in self-isolation while others have isolated and returned to work.

As of Monday there were 12 active Covid cases among residents.

“We have been liaising daily with the Covid-19 outbreak control team within the HSE and local GPs. Working together we are ensuring a collective approach and have been monitoring the situation daily to contain and control the outbreak to protect our residents and our staff,” Mr Kennedy said.

He added, “with the incidence rate of Covid-19 in Limerick currently so high, particularly in west Limerick, it is a constant battle for all nursing homes to keep Covid-19 at bay, however, when it does penetrate, it shows how cruel it can be to our most vulnerable”.

“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.

“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 operates six nursing homes and two retirement villages across Limerick, north Cork, Kerry, Galway and Offaly. A Windmill spokeswoman said there were no other confirmed cases across any of its other centres.