Nursing home evacuated over Covid-19 fears

A BALLYSHANNON nursing home has been evacuated over concerns of a possible Covid-19 outbreak at the facility. 
The Irish Red Cross and Irish Civil Defence Forces were drafted in to help evacuate 19 patients from the Rock Community Hospital in the border town last week. The Herald understands a number of staff at the home had fallen ill. There are also fears some residents who have died in recent times may have contracted the virus, however that is unconfirmed. 
The Health Service Executive (HSE) in the South said in a statement the patients had been transferred from the facility as it was “an old building” and “this action was taken due to Covid-19 in the best interests of patient safety and in accordance with public health and infection control guidance.” It added all families of the residents had been contacted. 
Cllr Michael McMahon said the hospital had been “evacuated for the safety and protection of the patients.”
“Unfortunately, one of the things with the Rock Hospital is that it’s a very old hospital,” said Cllr McMahon. 
“It hadn’t been updated, it’s a very old hospital. It probably didn’t have everything that was needed there. Unfortunately at the start, like in a lot of other places, they had a shortage of equipment, such as masks and other PPE.” 
Expressing his sympathy and condolences to anyone who had lost a loved one to Covid-19, Cllr McMahon paid tribute to the staff at the facility. 
“The staff in the Rock Hospital, under the conditions, did a superb job,” he said. “Working in the climate they are working in, they do be very sad if they lose anybody. 
“They work very, very hard. No words can express how hard they’ve worked. Some of these people haven’t been home for the past two to three weeks. They’re working around the clock, and they don’t want to go home in case of the infection.” 

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