Fourth Covid-positive resident of Co Laois nursing home dies

A fourth resident of a Co Laois nursing home battling a coronavirus outbreak has died.

Kilminchy Lodge Nursing Home in Portlaoise confirmed that another of its residents who tested positive for Covid-19 died on Monday at the nearby Midland Regional Hospital.

“Sadly, there has now been four residents who have passed away having tested positive for Covid-19,” said the privately run nursing home in a statement.

“Two of the deaths occurred within the nursing home itself and two residents passed away in Midland Regional hospital Portlaoise.”

The nursing home said last week that 21 residents and 10 staff at the nursing home had tested positive for Covid-19.

The facility can accommodate up to 52 residents.

Kilminchy Lodge, part of a nursing home group run by Brindley Healthcare, said that its family liaison officer was available to all families and is providing support where required.

“The management, staff and community at Kilminchy Lodge Nursing Home express our sincere sympathy and condolences to the families and relatives of our deceased residents,” the home said.

The nursing home is working with public health officials, the HSE and the sector’s regulator, the Health Information and Quality Authority.

Residents in the nursing home are being isolated and the facility is closed to visitors in line with the Level 3 restrictions introduced last week to try to suppress rising numbers of infections.

The latest Health Protection Surveillance Centre statistics show that there were 11 new Covid-19 outbreaks in nursing homes in the week to October 10th.

This is the highest number of outbreaks in nursing homes since infections started rising again during the summer.

There are now 40 open outbreaks in nursing homes. An outbreak remains open until a nursing home has not had a new Covid-19 case for 28 days. There have been a total of 306 outbreaks in nursing homes since the first was detected in mid-March at the start of the pandemic.

More than half of the coronavirus-related deaths in the State have been nursing home residents.

The State’s chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan warned earlier this week that the current widespread community transmission of the virus poses an “existential risk” to people in nursing homes and older age groups.

He has said that if community transmission – the unknown spread of the disease amongst the public – is not reduced, it will not be possible “to keep this out of nursing homes.”

Kilminchy Lodge thanked its staff “who continue to provide selfless and tireless dedication in the care of our residents.”

“They constantly provide the highest standards of professional care, while also caring for our residents with the utmost kindness and compassion,” said the home.

The home acknowledged the medical support from Midland Regional Hospital and expressed gratitude to the support of the families and friends of residents “during these difficult times.”

“The goodwill, support and kindness of the local community and local businesses has been incredible. We are humbled by the generosity and kindness of so many people who have sent their best wishes during these difficult times.”