Visiting ban at Limerick hospital imposed due to Covid-19 outbreak

ICU and high-dependency beds full at 13 hospitals on Saturday, HSE figures show

A UL Hospitals Group spokeswoman said the Covid outbreak at Limerick hospital was  an ‘evolving situation’. Photograph: Google Street View

A UL Hospitals Group spokeswoman said the Covid outbreak at Limerick hospital was an ‘evolving situation’. Photograph: Google Street View

 

A visiting ban has been announced at all inpatient wards at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) due to an outbreak of Covid-19.

There were no intensive care/high-dependency unit (HDU) beds available in UHL and 12 other hospitals on Saturday, according to latest available figures published by the Health Service Executive.

A statement released by the UL Hospitals Group said it had announced the visiting ban at UHL “as we manage an outbreak of Covid-19”.

A spokeswoman said she did not immediately have information about how many Covid cases had been identified in the hospital outbreak and that it was an “evolving situation”.

The group’s statement explained that “three wards are currently affected” and “restrictions on visits to the emergency department, acute surgical assessment unit, and acute medical assessment unit at UHL also remain in force”.

“Our outbreak control team has convened and hospital management has decided it is now necessary to impose these measures in the interests of patient safety and keeping essential services open for all our patients,” it said.

‘Transmission risk’

The group said “all appropriate infection control precautions are being followed to minimise the risk of spreading infection among staff and patients within our health facilities, and also within the wider community”.

It also appealed to the public “not to visit their relatives/loved ones outdoors on the grounds of the hospital as this can also present a Covid-19 transmission risk”.

The group said, however, that parents were still permitted to visit their children, and that people assisting patients with conditions such as dementia or people visiting patients who are critically unwell or at end of life, would be dealt with “on a case-by-case basis, and all these exemptions are limited to one person per patient only”.

There were no ICU/HDU beds available in Limerick, Wexford, Tullamore, Tipperary, St Vincent’s, St James’s, Portiuncula, Mayo, Mater, Kilkenny, Drogheda, Connolly and Cavan hospitals on Saturday.

There were 70 confirmed Covid patients at UHL, the second highest of any hospital in the country behind Galway University Hospital, which had 82 Covid patients.