THE Public Health Agency (PHA) has not issued any additional guidelines for care homes here to follow in relation to the spread of Covid-19.
A spokeswoman for the PHA told the Herald that any visiting restrictions placed on homes would be on a case-by-case basis, and only where necessary.
“If nursing or residential homes have public health concerns, they would contact the PHA for specific advice. In these instances, PHA health protection staff undertake a risk assessment and provide appropriate guidance and recommended actions to take.
“This process is part of normal business for the PHA throughout the year, and is also the system in place with regard to COVID-19.”
With regard advice for older people themselves, or those looking after elderly loved ones, the spokeswoman said: “The advice the PHA has provided to the general population is the same advice for people of all ages, and that is to adhere to good respiratory hygiene to prevent the spread of infection.
Carewell Homes which operates three nursing homes in the Enniskillen area, the Graan Abbey on the Derrygonnelly Road and the Millcroft and Milvern on Mill Street, are still open for visitors.
However, in a statement this week the Homes said they were keeping abreast of the changing situation with the Covid-19 virus.
They check the Public Health website daily to view any updates and have put up posters throughout their care homes giving advice and have asked visitors, staff and residents to continually read them.
It added, “As always we would ask anyone who is feeling unwell not to visit any of our homes until they are feeling better. Anyone who has travelled abroad should check the most up to date Public Health Agency advice.”
“We are encouraging all of our residents, staff and visitors to help prevent the spread of infection by washing their hands and/or using hand sanitiser regularly.
“We ask everyone in the home to catch all coughs and sneezes in a tissue and bin it, and afterwards wash their hands thoroughly,” added the statement.
For further health advice and information on Covid-19 visit www.pha.site/coronavirus.