Laois nursing home confirms 31 cases among residents and staff

Kilminchy Lodge has said that 21 residents 10 staff have tested positive

Kilminchy Lodge Nursing Home in Co Laois. Photograph: Google Street View

Kilminchy Lodge Nursing Home in Co Laois. Photograph: Google Street View


A Co Laois nursing home has confirmed it is dealing with 31 coronavirus cases in one of the biggest outbreaks of the disease in a care facility since infections started rising again.

Kilminchy Lodge Nursing Home in Portlaoise said that it is managing 21 cases of the Covid-19 disease among residents and a further 10 cases among staff.

Infected residents who tested positive are being isolated in their rooms in line with public health protocols and guidelines.

The facility’s director of nursing is leading a care team and is working closely with HSE public health officials to ensure measures are in place to contain the virus.

The care facility, which is owned by nursing home operator Brindley Healthcare, can accommodate up to 52 residents.

The home would not disclose the total number of residents and staff it has currently.

A spokeswoman for the nursing home said that since the cases were confirmed at the end of last week family members of residents had been updated on a continuous basis.

“A family liaison officer was appointed last evening at the nursing home and is engaging with relatives of residents at the home,” he said.

“All families have been contacted directly by telephone between last night and this morning and have been given status updates on the health, welfare and care of their relatives.”

The nursing home would not comment on the health status of the residents.

Kilminchy’s lead inspector at the health service regulator, the Health Information and Quality Authority, is supporting the home during the outbreak.

The care facility thanked its staff for their “dedication, selfless efforts and tireless work.”

The nursing home is closed to visitors in line with the Level 3 restrictions being imposed on the entire country by the Government in response to the increasing number of cases of the disease.

Fine Gael TD for Laois Offaly Charlie Flanagan said he had written to the HSE seeking a report on the outbreak and asking that ”every help and assistance“ be provided to the privately owned home. He said that “maximum vigilance” was required to prevent outbreaks in nursing homes.

The State’s chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan warned about increasing Covid-19 cases in nursing homes in a letter on Sunday seeking stronger public measures to suppress the virus.

He said that at least 45 further coronavirus cases have been confirmed among nursing home residents in seven new outbreaks reported over the past week.

There are 31 open outbreaks of Covid-19 in nursing homes, down from 38 at the end of last month. An outbreak is declared closed after 28 days without any new reported cases.

Nursing homes have been at the frontline of the pandemic, accounting for more than half of the 1,810 deaths from the disease in the State since the first nursing home outbreak in March.

The HSE has been carrying out serial testing of staff across 568 nursing homes in an attempt to identify cases before outbreaks occur.

The positivity rate in the testing has been rising, from 0.13 per cent in July to 0.19 per cent in August to 0.33 per cent on almost 42,000 swabs so far taken during September and this month.