Letterkenny University Hospital has experienced a huge rise in the number of Covid patients.
The hospital is now treating 37 patients with the virus, an increase of 13 patients from this day last week.
The hospital says it is also seeing very high numbers of attendances through the Emergency Department.
As of 3.30pm today 77 people had presented to the Emergency Department for treatment and people are experiencing very long waiting times on trolleys before being admitted to a bed on a ward.
There are currently two wards in the hospital affected by COVID-19 outbreaks and the high community transmission rate in the region is having an impact on staffing levels.
A hospital spokesperson said “The hospital acknowledges that delays in the Emergency Department are very difficult for patients and their families and would like to apologise for the inconvenience and distress these delays cause.
“We are committed to treating everyone who presents at the Emergency Department; people who are seriously injured or ill are assessed and treated as a priority and those who do not require urgent care may be waiting longer.
“If your health problem is not an emergency you should contact your GP during normal surgery hours or the NoWDOC GP out of hours service, in the first instance.”
Access for visitors to outbreak wards is limited to compassionate grounds only and these visits should be arranged in advance with the nurse manager. Visiting to other wards is by appointment only. To make an appointment contact the ward or unit in advance (before 3pm). Appointments will last 30 minutes and will be staggered across all ward areas each day at 6.30pm, 7.15pm and 8pm.
The spokesperson added that for the safety of patients please use hand gel regularly while at the hospital, wear a mask at all times and do not visit the hospital if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in contact with anyone with COVID-19.