17 May 2022

Warning issued in light of high hospital attendance and an increase in Covid-19 community cases

Health services in Donegal are urging the public to be on their guard as a result of a combination of a rise in Covid-19 cases in the community and hospital attendances being at a record high. 

The CEO of the Saolta Hospital Group, Tony Canavan asked that people be particularly vigilant if attending Letterkenny University Hospital for appointments or as a visitor.

“Our hospitals are continuing to deal with record numbers of attendances at Emergency Departments. All the while, the number of Covid-19 infections in our communities is growing and resulting in greater numbers of hospitalisations. We must stay vigilant and keep up our guard against COVID-19 if we are to protect the most vulnerable. While our vaccination programme has been a huge success, we must not forget the day to day practices that are continuing to keep us all safe," Mr Canavan, said.

Mr Canavan urged people to be particularly vigilant if attending Letterkenny University Hospital for appointments or as a visitor.

People are asked to be mindful of others when attending LUH and to follow all guidelines.

-          Do not attend if you are experiencing any symptoms.

-          Do not visit patients if you are a close contact of a Covid-19 case.

-          If attending follow all the public health guidance; wash your hands, wear a mask and socially distance.

“We all have a role to play and small actions can have a major impact. When visiting hospitals washing hands, keeping social distance and wearing a mask make a difference. If you have symptoms stay at home. This will not only keep our hospital safe but will benefit the wider community. I would also urge anyone aged 16 and over who hasn’t yet registered to get a free Covid-19 vaccine to do so by going to The vaccine is the most effective way to prevent serious disease and will help protect you and those close to you,” he said.

HSE Specialist in Public Health Medicine, Dr. Aidan Ryan, said: "Covid-19 is circulating in our communities. It is important to continue to follow public health advice.  Increased community testing will help identify people who may be infected and are infectious. These people may be unaware that they might be spreading the virus."  

Chief Officer, Healthcare Organisation Area 1, John Hayes, said: "Covid-19 is a serious infection.  We don’t want people getting sick and people ending up in hospital.   I encourage anyone who is showing symptoms, no matter how mild to receive a Covid-19 test, especially those who have not yet had their vaccination to avail of this service."

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