On the advice of the HSE Public Health Department, North West, restricted visiting in Residential Long Term Care facilities within the Inishowen area is being eased on a phased basis.
Restrictions had been implemented due to the ongoing high numbers of cases of COVID-19 within that area and the potential high risk to residents, service users and staff.
The CHO1 Strategic Outbreak Control Team made the recommendation to restrict visiting in the Inishowen Residential Care Facilities on the basis that when appropriate, the gradual reintroduction of visiting would be in the best interests of residents, service users, family members and staff of the Residential Care Facilities.
By reintroducing visiting on a phased basis to HSE Residential Care Facilities across Inishowen Older Peoples Services, Disability Services and Mental Health Services it is NOT anticipated that visiting will return to the national ‘norm’ straight away but will take time to increase.
The decisions regarding visiting levels in facilities will continue to be guided by the expertise of the HSE Public Health and Infection & Prevention Control departments.
Such decisions will be made in consideration of factors such as vaccination rates, the level of COVID-19 in the community, whether a facility is in outbreak mode, the medical vulnerabilities of people living in the facility and the wellbeing of the people in the facility.
Mags Moran, Community Infection Prevention & Control Nurse Manager, CHO1 IPC Team said “We would hope in a short time, that residents, and service users will be able to return to normal visiting patterns. We appreciate it has been a difficult time for all residents and thank them, their families and friends for their continued understanding of this protective advice, and for their support in complying with this advice to date.”
If any family member/guardian has queries regarding visiting restrictions in a facility they should contact the facility directly. Visiting levels and restrictions will be kept under constant review in each facility. In any Residential Care Facility where an outbreak of COVID-19 is confirmed, visiting restrictions will by necessity be reinstated.
The HSE continues to implement strict infection control policies and guidelines in its management of COVID-19 for the protection of residents, staff, families and the wider community.