Four cases of Covid-19 confirmed in Cork direct provision centre

HSE urges 250 residents to come forward for testing in Kinsale Road facility

HSE has notified four cases of Covid-19 to the Department of Health and these four cases have been removed off-site from the centre while they recover. Photograph: iStock

HSE has notified four cases of Covid-19 to the Department of Health and these four cases have been removed off-site from the centre while they recover. Photograph: iStock

 

The HSE has urged residents of the Kinsale Road Reception and Accommodation Centre in Cork to avail of Covid-19 testing on Saturday after it confirmed there had been four positive Covid-19 cases at the centre which caters for 250 residents.

According to a letter sent by the HSE South to each resident at the direct provision centre and obtained by Cork’s 96FM, the HSE has notified four cases of Covid-19 to the Department of Health and these four cases have been removed off-site from the centre while they recover.

“However, the majority of residents have not yet come forward for testing so we do not know if there are further cases or on-going transmissions within the centre,” said the HSE as it urged people to attend for a Covid 19 test next Saturday at a test centre in Cork.

“A small number of residents were considered to be close contacts of the confirmed cases, they have been contacted and advised and transferred off-site for isolation,” said the HSE, adding that it was grateful to these people for their co-operation.

The HSE advised those remaining at the centre to maintain social distancing of two metres from others in areas such as corridors and the dining room and urged people to wear face masks in areas where social distancing is not possible such as the laundry or kitchen areas.

“The situation is potentially very serious for you and your fellow residents and staff. We therefore ask for your full co-operation. Please follow the advice above and come for testing on Saturday, if you are invited to do so to stop the spread of Covid 19,” said the HSE.

Safety team

Meanwhile, University College Cork (UCC) has set up a Covid-19 safety support team as well as embarking on a joint social media campaign with its Students Union as it prepares to welcome some 22,000 students and almost 3,000 staff back to the college next week.

According to UCC Interim President, Prof John O’Halloran, UCC’s operations were reconfigured to meet Covid-19 health and safety requirements, with over 5,000 safety signs installed across UCC’s campus, while over 10,000 face coverings have been distributed to students and staff to date.

“We have worked together with our students and staff since the pandemic occurred, and as the new term commences we want to both underline the importance of our shared responsibility and ensure we are supporting students and staff at this time,” he said.

“To guide and support those on campus a dedicated Covid-19 Safety Support Team will assist students and staff, and a student led social media campaign will encourage adherence to national health guidelines throughout the term.”

In addition to drawing up a Community Charter to assist protecting students and staff, UCC has developed a dedicated mentoring programme for first year students, a laptop loan scheme, and a virtual learning space to support students as they navigate a new “blended learning” environment.