Twenty staff at hospital in Northern Ireland forced to self-isolate

Twenty staff at hospital in Northern Ireland are forced to self-isolate after three workers in respiratory emergency department test positive for coronavirus

  • Twenty healthcare workers at Craigavon Hospital are self-isolating as precaution
  • Three staff tested positive for coronavirus, Southern Health Trust confirmed 
  • The Trust said the infection may have been transferred in a ‘social setting’

Twenty healthcare workers at a hospital in Northern Ireland are self-isolating after three staff members tested positive for coronavirus.

The Southern Health Trust confirmed that 20 workers at Craigavon Hospital in County Armagh were self-isolating after their colleagues at the hospital’s respiratory emergency department tested positive for the virus.

In a statement today the Trust said the infection may have been transferred in a ‘social setting’ but they did not believe patients were at risk.

Twenty members of staff at Craigavon Hospital in County Armagh, Northern Ireland, are self-isolating after three staff in the hospital’s respiratory emergency department tested positive for the virus. Pictured: Entrance to Craigavon Hospital.

A spokesperson for the Trust said: ‘At this stage it is understood that the infection may have transferred in a social setting, ie not within the Emergency Department (ED).

‘Staff in the ED wear full personal protective equipment when treating patients, therefore we do not believe there is any risk to patients at this time.

‘The ED in Craigavon remains open but is extremely busy and we would urge the public only to attend if there is no other alternative.’

According to the department of health’s daily coronavirus infection figures, 359 individuals have tested positive for Covid-19 in the last seven days.

The highest number of cases over the last seven days have been in the Mid and East Antrim Council area (95) followed by Belfast (76) and Antrim and Newtownabbey (44).

 New restrictions are now in place in Northern Ireland after the department of health’s daily coronavirus infection figures revealed 359 individuals had tested positive for Covid-19 in the last seven days. (Stock image)

The current estimate of the virus reproduction number in Northern Ireland is 1.0 – 1.6 according to the region’s department of health.

Last week 60 police officers in Northern Ireland had to undergo testing for Covid-19 following an outbreak at Antrim and Newtonabbey police stations.

A total of eight have been diagnosed with the infection, the Police Service of Northern Ireland said.   

On Thursday health minister Robin Swann announced new restrictions aimed at curbing the infection rate in Northern Ireland. 

Under the new restrictions, thee number of people meeting indoors is to be reduced to six from no more than two households, and the limit on numbers at outdoor gatherings will be slashed in half from 30 to 15. 

Mr Swann also announced there would be focused PSNI enforcement of coronavirus regulations in hotspot areas. 

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