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Recruited HCWs tested positive in Citywest

A small number of recent positive cases of Covid-19 in healthcare workers (HCWs) who quarantined at Citywest were “isolated” and “sporadic” cases associated with travel, the HSE has stated. 

The Medical Independent (MI) understands a small number of HCWs recruited by Our Lady of Lourdes (OLOL), Drogheda, who quarantined at the facility on arrival, tested Covid-19 positive. Both RCSI Hospitals and the HSE said they could not comment on individual cases.

However, the HSE provided a response on what factors may have led to positive cases at Citywest, in a recent incident.

“Following investigation by Public Health, the two cases identified were judged to be isolated, sporadic cases associated with travel,” stated the HSE’s spokesperson.

The HSE said there was no requirement from a public health perspective to test HCWs isolating in Citywest, when asked about testing protocols for recruited HCWs.

However, as part of a pilot project, testing is offered to HCWs referred into the self-isolation facility on day eight of their stay.

According to the HSE, there have been no incidences of close contact between a positive case and others on site, and no known cases of transmission of Covid-19 within the facility since it opened, either among residents or staff.

“Adherence to the physical distancing rules is extremely high. Where occasional casual breaches occur – eg, someone out of their room without a mask, or a group congregating outside, nursing staff on site will attend and reinforce the physical distancing rules. Any positive cases are contact traced to identify if they could have had close contacts within the unit.

“However, we also acknowledge the potential risk of a resident not adhering strictly to the physical distancing rules. Therefore, if a positive case is identified in a HCW (or any resident), contact tracing is carried out by Public Health. If any close contacts within the unit were identified in such a situation, they would be appropriately managed.”

As of 5 November, there was 92 HCWs self-isolating in Citywest. There have been 1,102 HCW admissions as at close of business on 26 November.

A spokesperson for RCSI Hospitals said HCWs recruited from abroad are tested prior to commencing employment at OLOL and no positive HCWs had started their duties.

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