Efforts underway by University Hospital Limerick to track coronavirus contacts

Stock photo of the Emergency Department at University Hospital Limerick. Photo © University Hospitals Group

A number of staff at University Hospital Limerick have been told not to come to work after coming in contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus.

The number of new cases in the Republic doubled last night, and now stands at 13.

The hospital has confirmed today that they are working to trace patients who came in close contact with four people who are being treated there for COVID-19.

A statement from UHL and HSE MidWest Community Healthcare says they have identified the time period during which people could have had contact with at least one of the infected people.

It’s understood that person had been working in the Emergency Department in the days up to their diagnosis.

The hospital says the contacts include mostly minors, who attended what they call Zone A of the ED between the hours of 10am and 2pm on Wednesday of last week, which was February 26th.

They are all being contacted directly, as are patients who attended a small number of other health services.

The statement goes on to say that the hospital is operating as normal today, after a deep clean of affected areas was carried out on Wednesday night.

Meanwhile, students and staff of the University of Limerick have also been contacted to say that numbers on campus might have to be restricted.

An email was sent out yesterday, advising that they are currently planning for this eventuality.

It comes as a case of coronavirus was confirmed in a student of Trinity College, Dublin yesterday and staff and students there were contacted last night.

Computer Science student, Aaron Duggan from Nenagh has told Tipp FM News today, they don’t know who’s affected but it’s worrying for all of them.

Organisations have called for a dedicated phoneline to be set up to provide information and updates on the coronavirus to older people in Tipperary and across the country.

Speaking on Tipp Today earlier Richie Molloy from the local branch of Family Carers Ireland said they have noticed an increase in questions about how to deal with the outbreak.

A Tipperary man who’s working and living in the UK has had to cancel a 10-day trip to Italy due to coronavirus.

Mark Fogarty from Faugheen, near Carrick-on-Suir, had been due to travel with his girlfriend in April.

He’s been telling us about the reaction to the virus in Britain at the moment.