More staff drafted into Clon hospital after Covid deaths

April 26th, 2020 6:25 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

There have been ‘a number of’ deaths at the Community Hospital in Clonakilty. (Photo: Denis Boyle)

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THE HSE has not revealed the exact number of deaths that have occurred at Clonakilty Community Hospital in recent weeks, but it has confirmed that new staff have had to be redeployed to the facility.

Following a statement this week that there had been ‘a number of’ deaths at the facility, Cork Kerry Community Healthcare (CKCH) moved to reassure the public that it was continuing to provide quality care to all its Clonakilty residents.

These are the first confirmed deaths in a West Cork hospital due to the virus. Due to the level of staff at the hospital which have tested positive for Covid-19, additional staff have been redeployed there.

Other residents at the hospital have also tested positive for the virus, and an unspecified number of staff are now off work, self-isolating.

‘All residents and staff have been tested for Covid-19,’ a spokesperson said. ‘Their results are private and confidential, but we can confirm that there is a level of Covid-19 infection at Clonakilty Community Hospital. This is a very difficult time for families, for the community and for the staff caring for the residents.’

CKCH confirmed that an ‘expert outbreak control team’ was convened at the initial stage of the infection.

‘We want to take this opportunity to  assure you that our residents are, and will  remain, our utmost priority. We will do everything in our power to protect the health of our residents and their loved ones. We are glad to see that many of our residents who have tested for Covid-19 are recovering well.’

Fianna Fáil TD Christopher O’Sullivan, who issued a statement referencing two deaths at the hospital, offered his sympathies and sincere condolences to the families of those who died.

Independent TD Michael Collins – who had highlighted concerns about isolation facilities at the Dóchas unit in the hospital with the health minister just a few weeks ago – paid tribute to the staff and offered his sympathies to those who died.

The HSE issued a map of locations of confirmed cases on April 14th but it has not updated the map since. However, on Wednesday of this week, statistics showed there was now a total of 16,671 cases confirmed in Ireland, and 769 laboratory-confirmed deaths.

Meanwhile, the people of Clonakilty have rallied around with a number of fundraising events for their hospital.

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