Patients waiting in the emergency department at Letterkenny University Hospital have been asked to arrive alone because of serious overcrowding.
A statement issued by Saolta this evning says the hospital is extremely busy this evening which has resulted in pressure on bed availability.
A spokesperson said “We regret that patients are currently experiencing long waiting times to be admitted from the Emergency Department to an acute bed in the hospital.
“We know these delays are very difficult for our patients and their families.
“We would like to remind the public that we encourage them to attend the Emergency Department (ED) only in the case of real emergencies and they should contact their GP or GP Out-of-Hours service in the first instance.
“We are committed to treating everyone who presents at our ED but we do so strictly in order of medical priority and apologise for the long wait times.
We would ask that patients wait in the ED alone to help the hospital maintain social distancing. A companion will only be permitted in exceptional circumstances.
“We know this is very difficult but we need to do this to minimise everybody’s risk of infection and to keep everyone safe. We remind patients to please wear a face covering/mask when in the ED.
The Outbreak Control Team at the hospital continues to meet daily and is working with Public Health and Occupational Health to manage the response to an ongoing COVID-19 outbreak at the hospital.
Management in the hospital are reminding the public in County Donegal to please follow the HSE’s public health advice to help the hospital maintain essential health services for the people of the county.