Hospital suspends visiting due to rise in Covid-19 cases

St Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny. Picture: Tony Gavin

A regional hospital has stopped visitors entering the medical facility due to a rise in Covid-19 cases.

St Luke’s General hospital management in Kilkenny said the move was effective immediately.

St Luke’s management in a statement said that due to “increased infection control measures required at this time for Covid-19, the hospital will be temporarily suspending hospital visiting, effective immediately.”

The statement added: “There are a number of Covid and non-Covid-19 patients presenting to the Emergency Department (ED). We ask the public to consider their care options, if possible.

“Please consult your GP or pharmacist before attending ED in St Luke’s General Hospital. However, if urgent care is required, patients should attend the hospital.”

Hospital management advised patients to only attend the hospital ED if absolutely necessary and to not bring children unless the children are ill.

The Hospital assured people that anyone seriously injured or ill will be assessed and treated as a priority.

The hospital also reminded the general public that anyone who is experiencing Covid-19 symptoms to please contact their GP in the first instance.

They advised: “Please avoid coming directly to ED if you feel you might need to be treated for Covid-19, or you wish to have a test. Getting an early diagnosis from your GP means you can get the help you need and take steps to avoid spreading the virus, if you have it”.

Visiting will only be allowed in exceptional circumstances such as end of life for non-Covid-19 patients with only two nominated relatives allowed, and end of life for Covid-19 patients with only one nominated relative utilising correct PPE/hand hygiene/IPC advice is permitted.

Restricted visiting will also be allowed for critically ill patients, one parent only will be allowed to visit children in the Paediatric Unit at any time.

Visitors not affected also include those visiting the maternity unit and in exceptional circumstances as determined by each ward manager.

The situation will be reviewed on an on-going basis and any further changes will be advised.

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