STAFF IN Cork University Hospital have been told to go into isolation after a diagnosis of COVID-19 was found to have been a case of community transmission within the hospital.
All outpatient appointments have been cancelled and strict visitation restrictions are in place, however a spokesperson for the hospital has confirmed that dialysis, chemotherapy, radiation tratments and infusions will continue as planned.
RTÉ reports that the HSE's National Director of Acute Operations, Liam Woods, says that the hospital has taken steps to prevent the further spread of the virus, and that staff will be redeployed to make up for the 60 members who have gone into self isolation.
This, he said, would be a challenge, despite there being 3,000 staff in the hospital.
This case is the first in Ireland to have been found to have been caused by community transmission, and that this is a concern, Mr Woods says, adding that healthcare workers returning from affected areas are being asked to self isolate fot 14 days.
The case in Cork University Hospital is not the only one bringing worries to local healthcare services-- a doctor is in isolation with his family in University Hospital Limerick after they were diagnosed with the virus upon their return from a holoiday to North Italy.
It is understood that the doctor worked a shift in UHL before being diagnosed, where he came into contact with many patients, families and staff, who have been told not to return to work if they had close contact with the doctor.
The Republic of Ireland currently has 16 cases of coronavirus.