A party of four people, who were being treated in isolation rooms at University Hospital Limerick for Covid-19, have since being discharged from the hospital after they all tested negative for the virus.
The two males and two females had tested positive for the virus earlier this month but were given the all clear a number of days ago, it has emerged.
The four, including a healthcare official, had travelled to the Lombardy region in northern Italy and returned to home in late February.
The healthcare worker who was not symptomatic at the time informed Public Health they had been to the affected area and they were given the green light to work.
Having been allowed to perform their duties, the healthcare employee worked a shift in the Emergency Department at UHL in late February.
The 24-hour Limerick ED was later closed and a deep clean was carried out before being reopened.
A hospital source said the four patients who were being treated for the virus were no longer at the hospital and had all tested negative for the virus.
The source said that 75 healthcare staff — who were self-isolating at home, after they were identified as contacts of one of the four patients — had all tested negative for the virus, in relation to the results of initial swabs taken from them.
The 75 staff are waiting on the results of second swabs.
The cancellation of almost all elective surgeries and outpatient appointments across all six sites of UL Hospitals Group, including University Hospital Limerick, University Maternity Hospital, St John’s, Croom Orthopaedic Hospital, Nenagh General, Ennis General, is extended to Wednesday, March 18.
Exceptions to an ongoing visitor ban at the six hospitals (with a strict limit of one visitor per patient) include:
Colette Cowan, CEO of UL Hospitals Group, emphasised that time-critical procedures, including cancer surgery, would continue in the coming days.
Five theatres are open at UHL for emergency and trauma cases as well as time-critical elective surgery.
Exceptions to cancelled services and appointments, that will be going ahead at this time include Dialysis, Cancer services and Urgent Cardiology diagnostics.
Drop-off and collection services are available at the six hospitals to assist patients loved ones getting them important personal items.