March 29, 2020
News

CORONAVIRUS: 60 hospital staff asked to ‘self-isolate’ after first case of community transmission

More than 60 staff at Cork University Hospital (CUH) have been asked to self isolate following the identification of a case of community transmission of Covid 19 at the hospital.

The Health Service Executive’s National Director of Acute Operations Liam Woods this morning confirmed the hospital will have to adjust services and there will be a redeployment of staff. There are more than 3,000 staff at the hospital.

Contact tracing has been completed and people who may have been in contact with the patient being treated at CUH have been notified.

Mr Woods told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland this is the first case of community transmission of the virus in Ireland, which he said is a concern.

He said the majority of people with coronavirus will cope well with it at home.

However, health chiefs are now reviewing services at all hospitals to ensure there is adequate space for essential services while also dealing with the outbreak.

Mr Woods said healthcare workers returning from areas of concern are being asked to self isolate for 14 days.

A helpline is available at 1850 24 1850 and is open Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm and from 9am to 5pm at the weekend.

Mr Woods said people should call that if they have inquiries or concerns rather than the 999 or 112 emergency numbers.

Meanwhile, guidelines about mass gatherings in Ireland amid the rising number of confirmed cases will be published later today.

An expert sub-group within the National Public Health Emergency Team has been tasked with establishing the criteria for the risk-assessment of large events.

The Department of Health will also meet patient advocacy groups to discuss the needs of vulnerable patients.

Ireland has 13 confirmed cases of coronavirus after seven new cases were identified last night.

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