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No visitors at MUH as Covid numbers rise


RENEWED APPEAL Catherine Donohoe, General Manager, MUH.

Covid-19 cases increase by 61 percent in one week

Anton McNulty

MAYO University Hospital has suspended access to visitors after it was revealed that the number of Covid patients in the hospital has increased by 61 percent in seven days.
The HSE confirmed that as of 8pm on Sunday evening there are 50 cases of Covid-19 in Mayo University Hospital which is an increase of 19 from the same time last Sunday.
As a result of the sudden increase in cases, Mayo University Hospital released a statement on Monday evening announcing that access to visitors will be suspended from today, Tuesday, March 22.
“This measure is to enhance patient safety and prevent ward outbreaks; as of 8am today [Monday] there were more than 50 patients with Covid-19 in the hospital,” the statement read.
The hospital confirmed that visiting will continue to be facilitated on compassionate grounds subject to contacting the ward manager in advance as per normal process while separate arrangements are in place for access to the maternity department for nominated support partners, in line with national guidance.
“The nominated support person/visitor must complete a Covid-19 screening checklist and follow the public health guidance, including wearing a FFP2 surgical face mask (when requested) or surgical face mask and performing good hand hygiene regularly. The limitation on visiting access will remain in place for one week and will be kept under review.”
While the number of Covid-19 cases in the Castlebar hospital has increased the number of Covid-19 positive patients in ICU has not with one Covid case confirmed. However, there are no further available ICU beds in the hospital and in order to ease the pressure on bed availability, some elective procedures scheduled for this week are being postponed.
Patients affected will be advised directly by hospital staff and the hospital stated that the situation will be kept under review for the remainder of the week.
“We regret that we are back in this situation and would like to thank our patients and the public for their understanding and support,” hospital management stated.
Last Wednesday, the hospital issued a similar statement appealing for the public not to visit the hospital due to the increasing numbers of Covid-19 attendances at the hospital.

ED pressure
The increase in Covid-19 attendances is leading to significant pressure on the Emergency Department and leading to lengthy patient waiting times for admission to hospital.
The hospital is asking the public to contact their GP during normal surgery hours or the Westdoc GP Out of Hours service in the first instance if their health problem is not urgent.
Catherine Donohoe, Hospital Manager at Mayo University Hospital said: “Our hospital is extremely challenged by the rising number of Covid-19 admissions and ongoing high attendances at our Emergency Department.
“The current rise in cases reinforces the need for all of us to continue to adhere to the public health advice. By continuing to manage the risk for yourself you also do so for others who are more vulnerable.
“I want to thank the public for their ongoing support of our efforts to keep Covid and Flu out of our hospital. These precautions will help protect our patients and keep infections out of our hospital.”

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