Visiting restrictions enacted at Galway’s hospitals for infection control

Galway Daily news UHG is the second most overcrowded hospital in Ireland again this week

Visiting restrictions have been put in place at all of Galway’s public hospitals this evening for the purpose of infection control.

The Saolta Healthcare Group has enacted visiting restrictions at all of its hospitals as an infection control measure as of this evening, Friday, March 6.

These include University Hospital Galway, Merlin Park Hospital, and Portiuncula Hospital in Ballnasloe.

The Saolta Group has said that these measures have been put in place as an infection control measure.

They will be in place over the weekend, and into next week. Beyond that, the Saolta Group has said that they will be kept under review.

Saolta’s decision follows one made by the UL Hospitals Group and South/South West Hospital Group to impose visiting bans announced just a few hours ago.

Galway Daily has asked the Saolta Group and Department of Health if this measure has been taken due to any Coronavirus cases, or in anticipation of coming cases.

“We are asking the public not to visit any hospital other than end of life situations and other exceptional circumstances as agreed with the ward manager in advance of visiting,” a spokesperson for the Saolta Group said.

“To arrange a visit, families should telephone the hospital and request to speak to the relevant ward manager who will decide if a visit can be facilitated without compromising the welfare of the patients on the ward.”

It is emphasised in the statement that children in particular should not be visiting patients in hospital at this time.

“We recognise that the visiting restrictions may be challenging for patients and their families, however, our priority must be to protect the patients in our hospitals who are vulnerable to infection. We would like to thank members of the public for their co-operation.”

Thirteen cases of the Coronavirus, now called Covid-19, had been confirmed as of Thursday, but that number is expected to grow drastically this weekend as healthcare physicians trace those who have contact with confirmed cases.