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Louth COVID infection amongst lowest in country

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Louth's Covid-19 incidence rate has decreased in recent weeks.

Louth's Covid-19 incidence rate has decreased in recent weeks.

Louth's Covid-19 incidence rate has decreased in recent weeks.

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Although Louth has one of the lowest rates of Covid-19 infections in the country, according to the latest figures from the HSE, the county’s biggest hospital is under pressure.

In the two-week period up to June 28th, there were 478 cases in Louth, giving a rate of  377.9 cases per 100,000 of population, based on confirmed PCR tests.

There has been a welcome decrease in the number of patients with COVID-19 in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, with 25 such  patients in the Drogheda hospital as of Monday evening. Two of these patients were in the ICU/High Dependency Unit.

However, the HSE Operations report for Monday showed that there was just one general bed and no ICU/High Dependency beds available in the hospital that evening.

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The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has called for additional public health measures due to the impact rising COVID cases are having on our hospitals.

“We have just emerged from the worst June for hospital overcrowding on record coupled with sharp increases in COVID cases in our hospitals,” INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha said. ” It is a wholly unsafe environment for our members to operate in at the moment which is having implications for patient safety.”

“Since the removal of the requirement to wear masks, we have seen over 39,861 people on trolleys in our hospitals while COVID cases are on the rise once again. While we understand that legislation is currently being prepared to legally underpin advice on mask-wearing, we cannot wait for the Oireachtas to pass legislation in the Autumn. Unfortunately, COVID does not pay heed to the legislative agenda. Mask wearing in indoor and congregated settings must be introduced alongside a strong public health campaign.”

She also called for the re-introduction of screening of patients arriving into Emergency Departments.

“All 29 emergency departments that nurses are currently working in are completely unsafe and overcrowded environment and not knowing the scale of COVID in our EDs is only making the situation worse. Screening upon arrival must be reintroduced for those presenting to EDs and same day admissions for elective care.”

“The vast majority of COVID outbreaks are now occurring in healthcare settings so ensuring proper air quality would go a long way to increasing the safety of our members and patients,” she said calling for the ventilation/airflow in hospitals to be examined.

“It has been 9 months since healthcare workers first received their COVID booster vaccine. We believe that it is time for the National Immunisation Advisory Committee to recommend that patient-facing healthcare workers be provided with an appropriate second booster. We believe this is a decision that should be made swiftly.”

The union is also concerned that it is 9 months since members received their booster vaccines and have called for staff dealing with the public to get their second boosters.

“We cannot continue to ignore the impacts that COVID is having on our healthcare system. There are so many unknowns with this virus each time it presents itself in a new variant. We must act now to protect our health service and the public at large ahead of the unknowns of autumn and winter.”


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