'Things change from day to day and hour by hour, but when there is a surge we are ready'

As the alarming surge in Covid-19 cases and hospitalisations continues, Our Lady's Hospital in Navan has seen a sharp rise in admissions of Covid-19 patients.

With hospital admission spiralling, there were 20 Covid-19 patients in Our Lady's Hospital, Navan at 8pm last night, six of whom at been admitted in the previous 24 hours. The situation was even worse in Drogheda where there were 111 confirmed cases of the virus and two suspected case.

There were two Covid patients in critical care beds in Navan and nine in Drogheda.

A further 103 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in Meath last night (Tuesday), bringing the total number of cases in the county in the past two weeks to 2,337. The incidence rate in Meath per 100,000 for that two week period is 1198.2.

Director Nursing at Our Lady's Hospital, Navan, Dearbhala Cassidy said it was challenging times, but they are well prepared.

"The Emergency Department remains open. Things change from day to day and hour by hour, but when there is a surge we are ready.

"Over Christmas and New Year, the numbers rose dramatically, but we had plans in place to deal with it. "In line with national guidelines some elective procedures had to be postponed, but others continue to go ahead. "We have to balance things all the time."

"If staff get sick they have to stay away and isolate. We follow the public health advice to ensure nobody is put at risk and we have contingency plans in place. "It is busy, challenging and a balancing act, but everyone is working together."

Ms Cassidy complimented staff at the hospital who have been totally committed since the first surge. "Our hospital is community based and a lot of our staff are local. We are here to serve the people of Navan and Meath. I compliment the staff on their hard work and commitment. Everybody was happy to step up to the plate. "Our public health team and the GPs are also doing great work." Ms Cassidy also paid tribute to the public who were observing social distancing, washing their hands and wearing masks in a bid to prevent the spread of the virus.

"We now have the vaccine on site at the hospital, which is positive news for everyone," she said.

Yesterday, health officials confirmed a further 46 deaths from Covid-19 – the highest confirmed in a single day since April.

The death toll from Covid-19 in Ireland now stands at 2,397 .

Health officials also reported 3,086 new cases of Covid-19 in Ireland. A total of 155,591 cases have now been confirmed since the beginning of the pandemic.

Of the cases notified yesterday:

1,425 are men / 1,642 are women

54% are under 45 years of age

The median age is 42 years old

604 cases were in Galway, 574 in Dublin, 466 in Mayo, 187 in Cork, 138 in Limerick and the remaining 1,117 cases were spread across all other counties.

“Unfortunately this evening we are seeing the effect of the recent surge of infections reflected in the increased mortality we are reporting,” Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, said.

“Unfortunately, due to the unsustainably high level of Covid-19 infection we have experienced as a country over the past few weeks, sadly these figures are likely to continue for the next period of time. What we can do today, out of respect of those who have lost their lives and those currently in hospital or ICU – and those caring for them – is to hold firm and stay home.”

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