Tuesday, February 23, 2021

TWENTY three residents of nursing homes in Waterford died of Covid-19 between the beginning of December and the middle of January.

Figures of confirmed cases of Covid-19 and deaths related to Covid-19 in Waterford nursing homes were collated by the HSE in the South-East and released to the Waterford News and Star under the Freedom of Information Act.

Nursing homes across the country accounted for 37 per cent of the deaths recorded in January, according to figures shared with an Oireachtas health committee last week. There were 369 deaths associated with Covid-19 reported in nursing homes during the month of January.

Nursing Homes Ireland told the committee a critical window was missed by not vaccinating all residents immediately after the vaccine became available, highlighting that just 10 per cent of the first 77,000 vaccinations were given to nursing home residents and staff.

This newspaper previously reported on the overall number of Covid-19 related deaths of Waterford locals but a breakdown of where those deaths occurred, such as in nursing homes, was unavailable.

According to documents now seen by the Waterford News and Star, 23 Covid-19 deaths occurred across six out of 14 different Waterford nursing homes from the period 1 December – 18 January (the date this newspaper requested the FOI).

In one nursing home, the name of which was redacted by the HSE in order to protect the privacy of the individuals to whom the information relates, there were 10 confirmed cases of Covid-19 from 3 December 2020, and two residents died.

Another nursing home had 43 confirmed cases of Covid-19 as of late December and 11 of the residents died from the virus.

A residential institution reported an outbreak of Covid-19 on 22 December due to five residents testing positive. One of those residents subsequently passed away. In another, there were 13 cases and three deaths.

The remaining two nursing homes listed as having Covid-19 confirmed deaths from the same period, reported 36 cases and five deaths, and 13 cases and one death.

In total, across 14 Waterford nursing homes, the number of residents confirmed as having tested positive for Covid-19 was 163 for the period 1 December – 18 January.

Figures for the weeks following January 18 are expected to be released to the Waterford News and Star shortly following a follow-up FOI.

Last week, Dr Colm Henry told RTE’s News at One that the vaccination rollout in nursing homes is now “almost complete”.

The rollout of the national vaccination programme for the over 85s also got underway at some GP practices on the morning of Tuesday, February 16.

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By Jade Wilson
Contact Newsdesk: 051 874951

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