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Three care home residents die following Covid-19 outbreak

A fourth resident diagnosed with Covid-19 has been taken to hospital.

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Kilminchy Lodge Nursing Home (Niall Carson/PA)

Kilminchy Lodge Nursing Home (Niall Carson/PA)

Kilminchy Lodge Nursing Home (Niall Carson/PA)

Three residents at a nursing home in Co Laois which has been battling an outbreak of Covid-19 have died.

A fourth resident diagnosed with Covid-19 has been taken to hospital.

A spokeswoman for Kilminchy Lodge Nursing Home in Portlaoise confirmed the deaths.

Two of the deaths were within the nursing home and one person died at Portlaoise General Hospital.

It was reported last week that 31 residents and staff tested positive for the virus.

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Kilminchy Lodge Nursing Home (PA)

Kilminchy Lodge Nursing Home (PA)

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Kilminchy Lodge Nursing Home (PA)

The care home has been closed to non-essential visitors because of coronavirus restrictions.

A spokeswoman for the care home said: “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 best practices that were identified from the onset of the pandemic have continued in line with Public Health and WHO recommendations.

“The nursing home continues to work closely with Public Health, the HSE and HIQA.

“There has been no change in the number of residents who have tested positive at Kilminchy Lodge Nursing Home.

“A second round of testing was done on October 8, the results were returned on October 10, no new additional positive cases were found and one resident is currently under the care of Portlaoise General Hospital.

“Our family liaison officer is available to all families and is providing support where required.”

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Dr Tony Holohan, chief medical officer at the Department of Health during a briefing at the Department of Health in Dublin

Dr Tony Holohan, chief medical officer at the Department of Health during a briefing at the Department of Health in Dublin

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Dr Tony Holohan, chief medical officer at the Department of Health during a briefing at the Department of Health in Dublin

On Monday it emerged that a further 825 cases of Covid-19 were confirmed by the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet), bringing the national total to 43,531.

One more death with the virus was recorded, taking the total to 1,827.

As of 2pm, 224 Covid-19 patients were being treated in hospital, of which 32 were in intensive care units.

Meanwhile, a garda assistant commissioner warned that gardai will enforce the law in response to violent clashes arising from coronavirus protests.

It follows two arrests on Saturday when violence broke out between opposing sets of protesters during anti-mask demonstrations outside Leinster House.

Assistant Commissioner for Policing and Community Paula Hilman said that while there is a balance to be struck between the right to protest and public health, those committing offences will be investigated.

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An open letter was published calling on people to adhere to public health guidelines (Niall Carson/PA)

An open letter was published calling on people to adhere to public health guidelines (Niall Carson/PA)

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An open letter was published calling on people to adhere to public health guidelines (Niall Carson/PA)

Asked about the protest, she said: “Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, we have applied a proportionate response to that.

“In doing so, we firstly engage with people, we explain, we encourage and then the fourth tier is to enforce.

“Now, we have a role as a police service to then enforce the law and we will police the protests and at the outset engage with the organisers. But where potential offences have been committed, then we will look at investigating those offences.”

She said there is no “easy solution” to the anti-mask protests, which have seen hundreds of people participating in large gatherings in Dublin and across the country.

“There is a right to peaceful and lawful protest but that also in today’s environment has to be balanced with health, with what we’re dealing with in a pandemic. So it is a balance,” she said.

“There’s not an easy solution. But we will play our part in both engaging with organisers and having any proportionate policing response to what is required and the situation that we face.”

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Lord mayor Hazel Chu signs the open letter (Niall Carson/PA)

Lord mayor Hazel Chu signs the open letter (Niall Carson/PA)

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Lord mayor Hazel Chu signs the open letter (Niall Carson/PA)

Ms Hilman was speaking on Monday at the Mansion House in Dublin, where gardai and the local authorities issued an open letter to citizens of the capital to adhere to public health guidelines.

She added: “I would encourage everyone to work together. What today is about is everyone playing their part in keeping our society safe, to comply with what we need to do, to stop the spread of the pandemic.

“That’s by maintaining social distancing, wearing a mask, limiting contacts.”

The open letter called on Dubliners to take responsibility for their actions and work together to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

It was signed by Dublin lord mayor Hazel Chu, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Cathaoirleach councillor Una Power, Fingal mayor David Healy and South Dublin mayor Ed O’Brien, as well as Dr Deirdre Mulholland of the HSE, and Ms Hilman.

Speaking afterwards, Ms Chu said that there is a “tiredness” setting in with regards to the pandemic restrictions, but urged people to keep up the fight and protect each other.

She said: “I think there’s a tiredness that’s setting in. I’ve heard words like complacency, lethargy, but I think exhaustion is really the right thing to note it as. Because that’s what people are, people are tired.

“The thing is, the CMO (Dr Tony Holohan) is reiterating it not because he thinks people aren’t adhering to it. It’s because he knows that if he keeps saying it, people will continue to fight. That’s what we need to do.”

She added: “Those numbers that we see every day. Those are real live numbers with lives that are lost. We need to see those as people that we can protect.

“This is something that we can all do, which is bound together and make sure that we continue to adhere to restrictions.”

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