The HSE is believed to be in the process of refitting the former St Francis Welfare Home on the Rathealy Road in Fermoy for use as a 'step-down' facility for recovering COVIT-19 patients.
THE Corkman understands the building is one of a number of sites at locations across the county that will be used to house patients discharged from hospital after receiving treatment for the Coronavirus.
While the HSE has remained tight-lipped on the issue, it is believed preparations are already being put in place to convert the building, with beds and other necessary equipment set to be moved into it within the coming days.
Built in 1975 to cater for 40 people, St Francis saw patient numbers decline following a decision to suspend admissions in 2008, with the number of residents having dwindled to 10 by the end of 2011.
The following May the last two residents were relocated to Mitchelstown following an unsuccessful campaign by the local community and public representatives to keep the facility open. In recent years it has been used as a day care facility for the local community.
Local county councillor Noel McCarthy said it was his understanding the day care facilities at the home will now be temporarily relocated to the SouthDoc premises in the grounds of Fermoy Hospital, which was closed down at the weekend.
"We will need after-care facilities for patients, so in that respect I welcome the fact that St Francis will be used for that purpose," said Cllr McCarthy.
"That said, it is important that once the Coronavirus crisis is all over the day care facilities be moved back to St Francis and SouthDoc reopen its Fermoy centre," he added.