Both Ennis Hospital and University Hospital Limerick are under considerable pressure with over 100 staff out of work due to COVID-19 outbreaks.

Up to 161 members of staff are unavailable at Ennis Hospital and University Hospital Limerick following outbreaks of COVID-19.

Both hospitals were under serious pressure as a result of subsequent staff shortages, HSE Chief Executive Paul Reid admitted. “It is significant in terms of staff impact both in terms of some positive cases, and also close contacts, and indeed some patients as well. We are losing a lot of staff on shifts, and it’s causing significant disruption.”

Speaking at Thursday’s Department of Health press briefing, Dr Vida Hamilton, National Clinical Advisor and Group Lead, Acute Hospitals, HSE confirmed that each of the four hospitals across the country dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19 presently have a specific outbreak process and team in place that is either led by the CEO or Clinical Director.

Patients and staff that are symptomatic to COVID-19 are being identified currently with “mass testing” underway. Patients showing symptoms are “cordoned off” and isolated while staff self-isolate at home.

“All outbreaks are being managed appropriately,” Dr Hickey stated. An impact to service delivery has been experienced which led to UL Hospitals Group cancelling all outpatient activity at Ennis Hospital and University Hospital Limerick for Thursday and Friday.

She stated that staff were being freed up to manage the outbreak. “The situations haven’t completely stabilised”. Co-ordination with the outbreak teams continues with all processes activated and in place, Dr Hickey added.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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