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Altnagelvin Hospital currently has no COVID-19 patients, says Chief Executive

Today's board meeting updated on hospital deaths, staff testing and care home outbreaks

Altnagelvin Hospital currently has no COVID-19 patients, says Chief Executive

The Western Trust Chief Executive today told a meeting that Altnagelvin Hospital currently has no COVID-19 patients as she updated board members about the challenges that lie ahead.

It follows Department of Health reports of no deaths in Northern Ireland for four days in a row.

Sadly, one more death has been announced today, June 11.

Dr Kilgallen clarified that numerous people are suspect and under testing but as of yesterday and today there are no confirmed COVID-19 patients in Altnagelvin Hospital.

The Intensive Care Unit at the Derry hospital discharged the last of its COVID-19 patients on June 4.

Speaking today, Dr Kilgallen said that was cause for ‘great celebration’, however, she went on to caution that ‘we can’t afford to be complacent’.

Up to and including June 9, in the Western Trust area almost 1,300 individuals were admitted with suspected COVID-19 infection, the meeting was told.

Of those, 136 tested positive for the virus.

Dr Kilgallen added: “Sadly we’ve had 28 people pass away with Coronavirus in our (Western Trust) hospitals.  From March 9 until yesterday.”

In terms of staff testing, 118 workers have tested positive but it is 22 days since a staff member tested positive.

“That is an indication of good adherence to infection, prevention, control measures across our sites which is an extremely difficult challenge,” Dr Kilgallen said.

Half the number of beds are being used for suspected and confirmed COVID-19 admissions, 40 beds are currently in use, at the end of April that figure was 90.

Prior to admission to Altnagelvin Hospital all patients are still being tested for COVID-19.

Some patients have access to rapid testing such as cancer patients and those requiring emergency surgery.

CARE HOMES

In relation to care homes, based on information provided by RQIA, almost 1,800 beds are occupied in the Western Trust area.

The meeting was told that ten homes have experienced outbreaks, five are ‘confirmed or suspect’ COVID-19 and five are reporting flu-like illness with no evidence of COVID-19 infection.

Dr Kilgallen said: “The good news is that on June 8 homes are reporting just three residents who are symptomatic, compared to 25 at the time of our May board meeting.”

In total, 809 residents have been tested and 171 residents were reported as being ‘affected’ by COVID-19 – “we don’t know they’ve all had positive tests but care homes have reported them as being affected.”

Almost 1,200 care home staff members have been tested with 223 reported as being affected.

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