An appeal has been launched to secure face masks for a Cork nursing home which is having difficulty in sourcing the protective equipment.
It follows the introduction of new guidance which says surgical masks should be worn by healthcare workers when providing care within 2 metres of a patient, regardless of whether or not they have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
Church of Ireland Bishop of Cork, Dr Paul Colton, who is Chair of the Board of St Luke’s Home Foundation in Mahon, made the appeal on social media saying that while the surgical masks are to be worn by healthcare workers under the guidance in settings such as St Luke’s Home, that these masks "not available".
Dr Colton said around 10,000 masks were needed weekly in order to implement the guidance.
The facility is appealing in particular for type II surgical masks, preferably which tie at the back of the head.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has meanwhile welcomed the introduction of the new guidance on masks but said sufficient supplies need to be ensured for all healthcare workers in addition to continuous PPE training where needed.
The INMO had called for the measure to be rolled out nationally.
“This is welcome news to frontline staff and patients, which should ease some anxiety and reduce transmission of the virus,” INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha.
“This should have been rolled out weeks ago, but we are glad to have finally secured this measure. It will not only benefit frontline healthcare workers, but will reduce the risk of transmission to patients,” she said.