The Saolta Hospital Group says some staff at Letterkenny University Hospital hospital who are not close contacts of confirmed cases are being tested for surveillance purposes.
As per national guidance, Saolta says these staff can remain at work as they have no symptoms.
Other staff are being advised to stay at home, and the group says everyone should follow the clinical advice they are being given.
The group says the hospital continues to manage an outbreak of COVID-19 in the hospital which is impacting on staffing levels, bed availability, non-emergency procedures and outpatient appointments.
Statement in full -
Letterkenny University Hospital continues to manage an outbreak of COVID-19 in the hospital which is having an impact on the number of beds available in the hospital and staffing levels.
The increase in cases and the staffing challenges have meant that the hospital has deferred a significant number of appointments and procedures including outpatient appointments.
When a patient’s appointment or procedure is deferred, the hospital contacts the patient directly by telephone. The following outpatient clinics are proceeding and patients should attend their appointments:
· Fracture Clinic
· Antenatal Clinic
· Breast Clinic
· Oncology Clinic
· PMB Clinic
· Haematology Clinic
· Paediatrics Clinic
“We are working very hard to ensure that care is provided to patients in the hospital in the safest way possible.
“COVID-19 testing and contact tracing of both staff and patients has been carried out to ensure the protection of public health. The hospital follows the HSE occupational health guidance in relation to testing staff and any staff identified as close contacts of COVID-19 cases or who display symptoms are asked to isolate and not come to work.
“In addition, the hospital is carrying out COVID-19 testing on staff who are not close contacts of confirmed cases. This testing is for surveillance purposes. As per national guidance, these staff can remain at work as they have no symptoms. All staff follow national guidance in relation to infection prevention and control and wearing appropriate PPE to reduce the risk of transmission of the Coronavirus.
“The laboratory at the hospital is operating as usual and there are no delays in returning test results for patients or staff.
“The hospital management team fully recognises the concern and distress caused to patients as a result of postponing planned treatment. We will work to reschedule all patients whose appointment or procedure has been deferred as quickly as possible and will be in touch with the patient with a new appointment time.
“We would like to acknowledge the work and support of all staff at this time.”