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'deepest sympathies' Eight residents in private nursing home died over Christmas period after Covid outbreak

The outbreak, declared three weeks ago, escalated over the past fortnight, as management continued to actively manage the situation with support from the HSE.

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Young doctor giving helping hands for elderly woman

Young doctor giving helping hands for elderly woman

Young doctor giving helping hands for elderly woman

EIGHT residents died at a private nursing home over the Christmas period after a Covid-19 outbreak at the facility, management have confirmed.

Pat Kennedy, CEO of Windmill Healthcare, which operates Killeline Care Centre, Newcastle West, Co Limerick, said: “Unfortunately, and sadly, we must confirm that we have eight Covid-19 related deaths.

"This has been very upsetting for everyone, especially their loved ones. We would like to extend our deepest sympathies to all their families and extended friends,” Mr Kennedy said.

A spokesperson added that management were “scheduling for a vaccine roll-out on January 18, and this cannot come quick enough”.

“It’s vital for it to be sooner if possible,” Mr Kennedy said.

The outbreak, declared three weeks ago, escalated over the past fortnight, as management continued to actively manage the situation with support from the HSE.

The nursing home has close to 100 staff members caring for a maximum of 63 residents.

Some staff remain in self-isolation while others have isolated and returned to work.

As of today, there were 12 active Covid cases among residents, however the number of confirmed cases among staff was not disclosed.

“Windmill Healthcare can confirm that we are managing a Covid outbreak in Killeline Care Centre, Newcastle West. As part of our fortnightly staff serial testing, we had been advised that a number of staff had tested positive for Covid-19 prior to the Christmas period,” Mr Kennedy said.

“We are fortunate that our senior management team at Windmill Healthcare are clinicians, with vast experience. Working alongside the management team at Killeline Care Centre, they immediately enacted our contingency plan and put all infection prevention and control measures in place.

“We have been liaising daily with the Covid-19 Outbreak Control Team within the HSE and local GPs. Working together we are ensuring a collective approach and have been monitoring the situation daily to contain and control the outbreak to protect our residents and our staff.”

Windmill operates six nursing homes and two retirement villages across Limerick, north Cork, Kerry, Galway and Offaly.

“Being a part of a larger group means that we have extra resources behind us, and we have been fortunate to call on our complement of staff from across the country, as well as HSE and agency staff. The support we have received from the Covid-19 Outbreak Control Team, our local GPs and our staff has been a massive help throughout this time,” Mr Kennedy said.

He added: “With the incidence rate of Covid-19 in Limerick currently so high, particularly in west Limerick, it is a constant battle for all nursing homes to keep Covid-19 at bay. However, when it does penetrate, it shows how cruel it can be to our most vulnerable.

“The majority of our staff have now tested positive for Covid-19. As we are now three weeks into this outbreak, a high number of these staff are now recovered and back to work.

“The past three weeks has been an escalating scenario daily, but recent Covid-19 swabbing test results have indicated that the outbreak has now stabilised, and we expect that we will endure another difficult week before the cycle is complete.”


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