OVER 100 staff members in the Western Trust have tested positive for Covid-19.
As of April 30, 1,169 Trust staff have been tested and a further 179 household members with staff have been tested, and approximately ten per cent of staff returned a positive result – around 117 people.
There has also been five staff clusters identified in the past month, with two or more staff members testing positive for Covid-19.
Speaking at the Trust’s board meeting, Chief Executive Anne Kilgallen said, “Staff testing service was a bit of a challenge in the beginning but it was up and running within about a week and is now an established service for both Trust and non Trust staff.
“1,169 Trust staff have been tested and approximately ten per cent of staff tested had a positive result.
“The trust has been focussing on early identification of any staff clusters throughout the pandemic recognising this as critically important to the safety of staff and services.
“There have been five so far. Obviously work in this is ongoing and no services have been comprised due to workforce absence.”
We are now in the eleventh formal week of the Covid-19 pandemic emergency response in our hospitals.
Since the first patient was admitted on March 9, 988 patients have been admitted to local hospitals with symptoms suggesting Covid-19 with 124 of that number to date proved to be positive.
Sadly, 26 people have died in hospital either from the Covid infection or with Covid infection as a contributory factor.
Dr Kilgallen continued, “We are at phase one of surge response at South West Acute Hospital so that means ward one is dedicated to Covid-19 inpatients and we are at phase two at Altnagelvin Hospital so we currently have two Covid inpatient wards.
“Increasingly we are flipping inpatient beds to non Covid status as we experience increased footfall at ED and more presenting with time critical non Covid illnesses which is really encouraging.
“Our hospitals are a much more settled place, the real focus for us now is in our community and our care home sector.
“However, everyone of us working in the healthcare sector has had an experience of absence of the usual rituals surrounding death so our hearts go out to all of those who are bereaved at this time.”
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