There have been 13 deaths recorded during a Covid-19 outbreak at a north Co Dublin nursing home with a “significant number” of residents and staff infected, the HSE has said.
Some 11 of the deaths at the HSE-run Lusk Community Nursing Unit were among residents who had been confirmed as having the coronavirus disease.
“This is an incredibly difficult time for residents, their families and everyone working in Lusk Community Nursing Unit,” said a spokeswoman for the local community healthcare organisation covering the north Co Dublin area.
“We encourage residents, family members or members of our team with any questions to contact us directly.”
The HSE said that a significant number of both patients and staff with the nursing home “remain affected by Covid-19 and every measure is in place to support them at this time”.
It would not disclose how many staff or residents were infected at the facility.
The HSE’s community health organisation for Dublin north city and county said that it was continuing to work closely with the Department of Public Health to manage the outbreak.
The HSE said the first round of Covid-19 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines has been administered within the Lusk nursing home, despite the outbreak at the care facility.
“All residents and staff who consented and were deemed medically fit were vaccinated on the day,” said the spokeswoman.
The HSE previously told The Irish Times that the vaccinations took place last week.
“There were a number of positive cases on the day the vaccination clinic took place but the clinic was delivered in line with public health guidance,” said the spokeswoman.
Covid-infected residents and staff at nursing homes are not permitted to receive the vaccine and must wait four weeks from their positive test result or the onset of symptoms to pass.
The HSE said that almost half of the residents at the 50-bed facility were vaccinated.
“The remainder of the residents did not receive their vaccinations for a variety of reasons, including having a Covid-19 positive result, awaiting Covid-19 test results, being medically unfit or unsuitable to receive a vaccine or not consenting to receive the vaccine,” said the spokeswoman.
The number of outbreaks in nursing homes have increased to more than 160 this week as the high levels of community infection have led to the virus spreading into vulnerable care settings.
There are 582 nursing homes in the country and the HSE is aiming to administer the first dose of the vaccine to 70,000 of nursing home residents and staff by this weekend.
HSE chief clinical officer Dr Colm Henry said this week that there were outbreaks in 29 per cent of nursing homes and there were 1,800 staff out of work at the moment with some nursing homes requiring support from the health service and, in a small number of cases, from the Army.