Westmeath nursing home says it is managing Covid-19 outbreak with 15 cases

Moate Nursing Home has 11 residents and four staff who have tested positive for disease

Moate Nursing Home, Co Westmeath. Photograph: Mowlam Health website.

Moate Nursing Home, Co Westmeath. Photograph: Mowlam Health website.


Another nursing home has reported a coronavirus outbreak with 11 of the 47 residents at Moate Nursing Home in Co Westmeath and four staff testing positive.

Nursing home group Mowlam Healthcare said that one of the Covid-19 positive residents at the care facility has been sent to hospital for observation.

“We continue to have a full management team and staff cohort in place and they are dealing professionally with the containment of this outbreak,” said Mowlam in response to queries.

Mowlam said that staff at Moate Nursing Home were working closely with HSE public health officials and the health service regulator, the Health Information and Quality Authority, on managing the outbreak.

“We are satisfied that the clinical and staffing resources are in place to deal effectively with the situation,” said the nursing home operator.

The group thanked residents and families for their support and cooperation, and thanked the staff at Moate Nursing Home “for their commitment and compassion in appropriately implementing our Covid-19 response plans and managing this challenge effectively”.

The nursing home has a maximum occupancy for 50 residents.

Limerick-based Mowlam Healthcare, which has been in business 20 years, is one of the largest nursing home operators in the State with 27 homes across Leinster, Munster and Connacht.

Westmeath has the third highest incidence rate of the disease after Cavan and Meath, recording 302.5 cases per 100,000 people over the last 14 days, up from 97 for the previous fortnight. It has had 371 Covid-19 cases over the past two weeks, compared with 86 over the previous fortnight.

The State’s chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan has warned that widespread community transmission of the virus would make it impossible to keep it out of nursing homes.

Concerns have been expressed about the impact of a second wave of the virus on long-term residential care facilities for older people given that more than half of the almost 1,900 deaths from the coronavirus disease have been among nursing home residents who are vulnerable to the virus.

The National Public Health Emergency Team reported six further outbreaks of Covid-19 in nursing homes and community hospitals in the week to October 17th.

The team said on Thursday there were now 33 open outbreaks with 451 linked cases. The HSE is providing support to 132 nursing homes including 35 who were receiving extensive support.

On Thursday, the HSE said it has stabilised staffing at a Co Galway nursing home where 26 out of 28 residents and all but four staff have tested positive for Covid-19.

Despite claims by the director of nursing at the Nightingale nursing home that it had been abandoned during its virus outbreak, HSE officials insisted rosters at the facility are covered for the next three days and specialist support is being provided.

One resident of the nursing home in Ahascragh has died and two have been hospitalised in the mass outbreak of Covid-19 in a long-term care facility.

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