Over 16,000 Covid-19 cases recorded among nursing home residents

Over 16,000 Covid-19 cases recorded among nursing home residents

The new figures show the extent of the pandemic’s impact on the state’s most vulnerable.

More than 400 nursing homes or community long stay-units recorded outbreaks of Covid-19 during the pandemic with almost half experiencing more than one outbreak, according to new figures from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre.

More than 100 nursing homes fought outbreaks of Covid-19 in both the first and third wave of the pandemic, with eleven nursing homes hit with several outbreaks within a single wave.

The new figures, provided to the Irish Times, show the extent of the pandemic’s impact on the state’s most vulnerable.

There were more than 16,200 confirmed Covid-19 cases among nursing home residents in the first 15 months of the pandemic.

Almost 2,350 nursing home residents who contracted the Covid-19 virus died between March 2020 and May of this year, with the vast majority (80%) passing away in nursing homes. 

Just under a fifth passed away in hospital, with a small number spending their final days in a hospice or their own home.

Of those who died, almost half passed away during the third wave of the virus.

Calls for a national inquiry 

A number of politicians, family members who lost loved ones, and groups such as the Coroner's Society of Ireland and the Irish Association of Social Workers have called for a state inquiry into Covid-19-related deaths in nursing homes.

Dealgan House, in Dundalk, Co Louth has been bought by Curam Care Homes.
Dealgan House, in Dundalk, Co Louth has been bought by Curam Care Homes.

Families who lost loved ones in one of the most deadly nursing home outbreaks during the pandemic recently met with HSE chief Paul Reid in a bid to get answers. Around 22 residents died in an outbreak at Dealgan House, Dundalk, Co Louth last year.

The home has recently been sold. 

Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People Mary Butler has promised to investigate allegations of neglect in nursing homes during the pandemic.

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