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Covid-19 case confirmed in two south-east nursing homes

Two nursing homes, one in Wexford and one in Kilkenny, have confirmed that someone in the nursing homes has tested positive for Covid-19.

Kerlogue Nursing Home in Rocksborough says one person has tested positive, while Mooncoin Residential Care Centre in south Kilkenny said a member of staff had also contracted the virus.

Both nursing homes are engaging with the HSE and relevant authorities to implement appropriate measures and to provide medical care to all residents.

It comes as new restrictions may be placed on older and vulnerable people, including in nursing homes, as the Cabinet holds an unscheduled meeting to consider public health recommendations this afternoon.

Concerns have been raised by leading public health experts that the Government’s approach to managing the spread of Covid-19 is moving towards one of age segregation.

Nursing home reform

Later today will see the publication of a report by the Covid-19 Nursing Home Expert Panel, in which the group will make a number of recommendations to the Health Minister to ensure all precautions against the spread of the virus in nursing homes are taken.

The last time the panel met was in June, when the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) said the Covid-19 pandemic laid bare the absence of planning for healthcare provision in nursing homes.

It called for a new approach to manage care for older people in nursing homes, as well as urgent preparatory planning to prevent seasonal influenza outbreaks in such facilities.

The IMO said the pandemic highlighted the need for a new, more collaborative system of care for older people supported by “adequate resources, suitable policies and governance structures”.

In advance of the panel's new report today, a nursing home owner has called for a radical overhaul of the system, with Oaklodge Nursing Home owner Diarmuid O’Dalaigh saying homes should adopt a care village model in order to improve both independence and infection control.