Infection Control Team in place at University Hospital Limerick following “outbreak” of Covid-19

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AN infection control team is helping to manage a response to an “outbreak” of COVID-19 at the University Hospital Limerick.

It’s understood that several patients and staff have tested positive for the virus following the outbreak, on a medical ward, on November 2nd.

“In accordance with HPSC guidelines, an Outbreak Control Team has been convened and continues to work with Public Health and Occupational Health to manage the response to a COVID-19 outbreak declared on a medical ward in University Hospital Limerick on November 2nd,” a said a UL Hospitals Group spokesman.

The hospital Group did not clarify when asked how many patients and staff were involved.

“We cannot comment on individual cases as to do so would breach our duty of confidentiality to the individuals and organisations concerned,” the spokesman said.

They explained, “an outbreak in a healthcare setting is called when there is a minimum of two positive contacts”.

The hospital has begun “contact tracing and testing of staff and patients”.

“We are now, in line with the national guidance, putting into effect all the appropriate infection control measures to mitigate the risk to patients and staff.”

The spokesman said that they were undertaking “COVID-19 testing and contact tracing of both staff and patients, to ensure the protection of public health“.

“Hospital preparedness plans are developed to support continuity of services and guide senior management to identify the level of impact on service and staff.”

Meanwhile, Margaret Gleeson, the hospital group’s Chief Director of Nursing and Midwifery, said they “have plans in place for an outbreak such as this and we have now established an Outbreak Control Team to put into operation our measures to protect the safety of patients and staff and to protect public health more generally”.

“Affected patients will continue to receive the highest standards of care as we manage this outbreak,” Ms Gleeson said.

She reminded the public “that visiting is not permitted at this time”.

“Equally, patients are reminded that the hospital continues to provide scheduled and unscheduled care. Patients should continue to attend as normal for their appointments or procedures unless contacted in advance by the hospital,” she added.

Patients with any symptoms of Covid-19 have been asked not to attend the hospital or any healthcare facility but to phone their GP for advice.