A LARGE number of nursing homes, care facilities and residential treatment facilities across Limerick and the Mid West have shut the doors to visitors as the number of Coronavirus cases in the Republic of Ireland rises to 18.
The facilities are telling visitors to stay away in a bid to protect elderly and otherwise vulnerable people in their care.
Milford Care Centre and Hospice has, as yet, not imposed any visitor ban.
Those facilities which are allowing visitors are appealing to then to stay away of they are unwell and to observe hand-washing and hygiene precautions if they do visit.
Anyone planning to visit a facility other than a hospital is advised to check with the facility first.
Hospitals in the University Hospital Limerick group across Limerick, Clare and Tipperary have also imposed a visitor ban, with the exception of those with a family member in end of life care, parents and guardians of children and vulnerable young adults and those visiting people in psychiatric care.
Meanwhile, the National Public Health Emergency Team has announced five new cases last night, all of whom are being treated in isolated units in hospitals.
Seven are in the western part of the country, seven in the east, and four now in the south – including a male with underlying health issues at Cork University Hospital.
One of the people now announced as being infected is a woman who works in healthcare in the south of the country and it has been established that she was in close contact with a person already infected.
This issue has put the concerns of frontline healthcare workers in the spotlight.
The National Public Health Emergency Team has established a sub-group to identify and implement measures to protect frontline healthcare staff.