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Virus cluster identified in local care home

Virus cluster identified in local care home

Tuesday 07 April 2020

Virus cluster identified in local care home


17 residents of a local care home have tested positive for covid-19, the Health Minister has confirmed.

The affected residents of the home, which has not been named, are said to be self-isolating in their rooms and being treated by GPs supplied with "appropriate PPE".

Symptomatic staff have been advised to remain absent from work, while other residents are being tested as a precaution. They are being kept in self-isolation in their respective rooms in the meantime.

Health Minister Deputy Richard Renouf offered his "thoughts to residents, staff and all their relatives at what is a challenging time".

"Sadly, we cannot prevent the spread of coronavirus in care homes, but we can mitigate the way in which it can be spread. We have previously said that we expect up to 80% of Islanders to catch the virus. However, what is in our control is to flatten the curve – to extend the period of time in which we see positive cases of COVID-19.

"This allows us to treat patients, and therefore, save more lives," he added, before thanking all frontline health and care workers, which he described as "some of the bravest in our community".

Moving to address concerns circulated by islanders on social media, the Minister said that there was "sufficient PPE for those organisations who need it" and that the Health Department was doing "everything [it] can to maintain stocks of PPE supplies on-island". He noted, however, that it "is not necessary for everyone to have PPE".

He added that care homes were given guidance on how to use PPE on Friday, but said that its use was not a substitute for washing hands "before and after attending to residents".

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Pictured: Deputy Richard Renouf, the Health Minister.

Deputy Renouf also said that cleaning had been "stepped up" in care homes across the island, with "special attention paid to horizontal surfaces and touch point".

Concluding his statement, he said the Health Department is "committed to openness and transparency in its handling of COVID-19", and thanked the public for their "continuous support of our frontline health care workers".

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