A NURSING home in County Limerick has lost eight residents to Covid-19 in just two weeks.
A severe outbreak in the Killeline Care Centre in Newcastle West, County Limerick, identified just before Christmas, saw most staff members and many residents infected with the disease.
The private nursing home, which can cater to a maximum of 63 residents, is run by Windmill Healthcare; the CEO Pat Kennedy last night confirmed the tragic news that eight people had passed away from the virus in the last two weeks.
In a statement seen by The Limerick Post, Mr Kennedy said "Unfortunately, and sadly, we must confirm that we have 8 COVID-19 related deaths.
"This has been very upsetting for everyone, especially their loved ones, we would like to extend our deepest sympathies to all their families and extended friends."
Mr Kennedy went on to say that while most of the staff have tested positive for the virus or were identified as close contacts, many of these infections took place before the Christmas period and many staff members have now returned to work.
He confirmed that contingency plans are in place, and "being part of a large group" of care homes has allowed Killeline to avail of extra resources to battle and contain the outbreak.
"With the incidence rate of Covid-19 in Limerick currently so high, particularly in West Limerick, it is a constant battle for all Nursing Homes to keep COVID-19 at bay," Mr Kennedy said, "however, when it does penetrate, it shows how cruel it can be to our most vulnerable."
In the statement, he added that while they believe the outbreak has now been "stabilised", they expect "we will endure another difficult week before the cycle is complete".
Limerick is currently the third-worst hit county in Ireland with regards to the coronavirus pandemic with a worrying 14-day incidence rate of 979 per 100,000 people, close to double the national average of 582.8.
Within the county, Newcastle West and neighbouring Rathkeale have the highest prevalence of the virus within the community.