Public urged to keep guard up as UHG deals with COVID outbreak

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University Hospital Galway has urged members of the public to keep up their guard against COVID-19 as it deals with an outbreak.

An Outbreak Control Team has been convened at the hospital and is working to manage the response.

Saolta said that UHG also has increased numbers of COVID-19 admissions and a significant return of non-COVID patients.

Chris Kane, General Manager of University Hospital Galway urged people to take every precaution when visiting.

“We are asking our local community to be mindful of the safety of our patients and staff,” she said.

“Please follow all guidelines when attending at our hospitals. Levels of COVID-19 remain very high in our communities and in the hospital.

“If visiting the hospital, staying vigilant and cautious will help us to lower that risk.”

There are record levels of people attending the Emergency Department which is putting significant pressure on the hospital.

Visiting restrictions are in place in areas of UHG impacted by the outbreak but the hospital is facilitating patient visiting in all areas of the hospital not affected by the outbreak in line with national guidance.

Visitors are being asked only to attend if absolutely necessary and to be mindful of patient and staff safety. 

Saolta has said that there are more people presenting for ambulatory care and for episodic care as well as more people coming in for deferred care because of either COVID-19 surges, cancellations or as a result of the recent cyber-attack.

Many patients in the ED are being admitted with complicated illnesses, complex care-needs and require longer stays in hospital.

All the while, the number of COVID-19 infections in the community is growing and resulting in hospitalisations.  

The hospital facilitates one visitor per inpatient each day between 6.00pm to 8.00pm. Only one visit per patient per day can be facilitated at the present time.

Visits must be pre-arranged by family members / visitors, who should contact the relevant ward or unit in advance. Visitors are required to complete a screening checklist regarding COVID-19, prior to visiting the hospital. 

UHG is also requesting that where possible, approved visitors will have received a COVID-19 vaccination, in order to minimise the risk to patients. 

It is also recommended that children do not visit the hospitals, unless agreed in advance on compassionate grounds, with the ward/unit manager.