Laois nursing home battling Covid-19 outbreak reports three resident deaths

Kilminchy Lodge Nursing Home says that fourth resident hospitalised with virus

Kilminchy Lodge Nursing Home in Portlaoise has confirmed that three residents infected by Covid-19 have died. Photograph: PA

Kilminchy Lodge Nursing Home in Portlaoise has confirmed that three residents infected by Covid-19 have died. Photograph: PA

 

A nursing home in Co Laois battling a coronavirus outbreak has said three residents infected by the disease have died and a fourth has been hospitalised with Covid-19.

A spokeswoman for Kilminchy Lodge Nursing Home in Portlaoise confirmed the deaths of three residents who had tested positive for Covid-19. Two died in the home and a third in hospital in Portlaoise.

The nursing home said there are two other residents in Midlands Regional Hospital in Portlaoise, one of whom is Covid positive and the second who does not have the disease.

“The management, staff and community within Kilminchy Lodge Nursing Home express our sincere sympathy and condolences to the families and relatives of our deceased residents,” the nursing home said in a statement confirming the three deaths.

The spokeswoman said no further residents or staff had contracted the virus since last week when it initially reported 31 Covid-19 cases, with 21 residents and 10 staff testing positive.

A second round of testing was conducted at Kilminchy Lodge on October 8th and the results were returned on October 10th. No additional positive cases were found.

Residents in the nursing home are being isolated and the facility is closed to visitors in line with the Level 3 restrictions introduced last week to try to suppress rising numbers of infections.

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

The HSE said last Friday there were 10 outbreaks in nursing homes over the previous week with 68 Covid-19 cases. This compares with five outbreaks in the week to September 26th.

The State’s chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan raised the National Public Health Emergency Team’s concerns about the increasing number of Covid-19 cases and clusters in nursing home residents and staff in a letter to Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly last week.

Nphet stressed in the letter that “reducing overall community transmission is an essential prerequisite to the protection of those living and working in nursing homes against Covid-19”.

The Minister was told there had been 11 new clusters in nursing homes and community hospitals in the week leading up to October 3rd with a further 86 cases linked to outbreaks of the disease and that there had been 397 healthcare workers testing positive.

The letter emphasised the importance of continuing the fortnightly serial testing of staff in nursing homes that is aimed at detecting asymptomatic cases of the virus to prevent outbreaks among residents.

Nphet also referred to an information campaign on infection prevention and control measures being developed to help nursing homes through the next phase of the pandemic.

Nursing home residents account for more than half the 1,826 deaths from the virus since the first outbreak was reported in a care facility in mid-March.

Kilminchy Lodge said that the best practices identified from the onset of the pandemic have continued at the home in line with public health and World Health Organisation guidelines.

The nursing home said that it continued to work closely with public health officials, the HSE and Hiqa, the health service regulator.

The care facility said that its family liaison officer was available to all families and is providing support where required.

“We want to sincerely thank our hard-working staff who have given their selfless and tireless dedication to the care of our residents at this time,” the nursing home said.

“We also want to acknowledge the medical support given by Portlaoise General hospital.”

The nursing home added that the management and staff at Kilminchy Lodge “are grateful for the support of the families and friends of all our residents during these difficult time.”

“The goodwill, support and kindness of the local community and local businesses has been incredible,” the care facility said.

“We are humbled by the generosity and kindness of so many people who have sent the staff and residents flowers, gifts and cards with messages of support and best wishes.”