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UHG management and consultants appeal to the public to follow HSE COVID-19 advice

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Statement from Galway University Hospitals

Chris Kane, Manager at Galway University Hospitals has this week said that the hospital is working hard to ensure it can manage the increasing number of COVID-19 positive patients who are attending University Hospital Galway.

“We are all aware of the really significant increase in the number of positive cases in our country. Since early September in particular, on an almost daily basis the number of cases have increased in Galway. It is very likely that increased cases in the community will result in increased numbers of patients hospitalised and an increase in the number of people who will need ICU care.

“Over the last month we have seen a gradual but significant increase in the number of COVID-19 positive patients attending UHG. We have plans and measures in place to manage further increases in patients both in our dedicated COVID-19 areas and our ICU; however we are really concerned about the impact of this increase on non-COVID patients. While we have managed over the last number of months to resume planned patient procedures and clinics that had been deferred before the summer, maintaining these will become increasingly difficult as the number of COVID-19 positive patients in the hospital increase.

“Where we can, we are continuing to provide virtual or telephone consultations. Where these are not clinically appropriate we are working really hard to ensure that our patients are safe by reducing the numbers waiting at any given time and staggering our appointments. We have implemented a texting system in a number of services to allow patients wait for their appointments in their car which minimises the need for groups of people to congregate in any area.

“We are appealing to the community in Galway City and County to follow the advice provided by the HSE to help slow the spread of COVID-19. We all need to reduce the number of people we interact with, wear a mask and wash our hands and maintain social distance. It has been a really difficult 2020 so far and many have made huge sacrifices but if we want to stop the further spread of this infection we all have to continue do the right thing. It is our individual actions which will have a significant impact on the spread of this virus.

“The hospital is a very busy campus and those who have to attend should be aware of the importance to ensure social distancing. To help us do this, we are asking patients not to attend their appointment early, they should come to the hospital alone unless they need support in which case only one other person should accompany them. We also remind everyone of the importance of wearing face masks, washing or sanitising their hands regularly and cough and sneeze etiquette.”

Dr John O’Donnell , Consultant in Emergency Medicine at University Hospital Galway added, “We are continuing to see high numbers of patients at our Emergency Department in UHG and we have put measures in place since the outset of this pandemic to protect our patients as best as we can.

“Patients attending the ED are streamed into non COVID-19 and suspect or positive COVID-19 and work is currently underway on site in UHG to increase the space to enable us continue to see patients waiting admission. Patients with urgent symptoms of heart attack or stroke or any other serious illness or injury should always come to the Emergency Department and not delay seeking treatment. Non-urgent or routine patients should contact their GP or GP out of hours service in the first instance. We are working really hard to ensure that we maintain a safe environment for our patients and staff but we are also dependent on the public doing their part. Again we are asking the people of Galway to follow the HSE’s public health advice to slow the rate of COVID 19 transmission and enable us to continue to deliver critical front line health services.”

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1,031 new cases of Covid-19 – with 60 in Galway and no further deaths

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There have been no new deaths reported to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre today.

There has now been a total of 1,852 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland.

As of midnight Sunday, 18th October, the HPSC has been notified of 1,031 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There is now a total of 50,993 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland. 

Of the cases notified today;

  • 511 are men / 518 are women
  • 70% are under 45 years of age
  • The median age is 30 years old
  • 235 in Dublin, 232 in Cork, 60 in Galway, 47 in Limerick, 47 in Kerry, and the remaining 410 cases are spread across 21 counties.

As of 2pm today, 298 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 34 are in ICU. 20 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said: “If you have symptoms of COVID-19, if you are waiting for a test result or if you are a confirmed case, you must self-isolate for 10 days from when you first develop symptoms. Self-isolation means staying in your room, away from other members of your household.

“If you live in a house with a confirmed case do not go to work or school. You must stay at home and restrict your movements for 14 days.”

The COVID-19 Dashboard provides up-to-date information on the key indicators of COVID-19 in the community.

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12 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Galway hospitals today but none in ICU

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – There are 12 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Galway hospitals today, but none are being treated in intensive care units.

That’s according to HSE figures which show that nationally, 290 COVID-19 patients are attending acute hospitals.

10 patients are being treated for coronavirus at UHG today, while two people are receiving care at Portiuncula Hospital Ballinasloe.

However, no Covid patients are being treated in the ICU at either facility.

A further 11 patients are undergoing general treatment for suspected cases of the virus across both hospitals – with 6 at UHG and 5 at Portiuncula Hospital.

Overall, 31 patients are receiving care for COVID-19 in ICU’s across the country today – with 23 being placed on ventilators.

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Government preparing to move to level five for six weeks

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A six week lockdown is on the cards as Ministers are meeting to consider moving the country to level five restrictions.

Party leaders are understood to have approved the escalation of measures and are now consulting with their party colleagues.

After senior Ministers met health officials earlier this afternoon a shift in approach was decided on.

Instead of a level 4 plus which had been talked about the recommendation gone to Ministers is to put the country to level five restrictions for six weeks.

That means the second lockdown would last until the start of December.

It’s expected the measures will take effect tomorrow midnight or Wednesday.

Level five would mean travel being limited to within 5 kilometres of your home.

It’s expected schools will be allowed to stay open.

Elite sport will be allowed to be played even under level five.

A ban on evictions will be part of the new measures while a system of fines for breaches is being finalised.

The idea of social bubbles is also still on the table to allow lonely or vulnerable people to be cared for.

All non-essential retail will close and pubs and restaurants will move to takeaway only.

The measures have yet to be signed off on by the cabinet which is meeting at the moment, but it looks like a long lockdown will be announced tonight.

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