Maternity restrictions as Drogheda has highest rate of Covid in Ireland

Our Lady of Lourdes hospital has had to introduce visiting restrictions to the hospital, particularly in the Maternity unit, as the town experiences a spike in cases.

owever, for the moment, they are still allowing partners to attend births.

“We have completed a risk assessment and limiting our partner attendance to eight hours per day, (noting that there are no further restrictions on partners attending for labour, induction of labour or caesarean section), is one of several strategies that we reluctantly must take to reduce the risk of transmission to our mothers, babies, partners and staff,” said Grainne Milne, Director of Midwifery Louth Hospitals & Our Lady’s Hospital Navan. “Of course we will review these restrictions on compassionate grounds where necessary.”.

Drogheda has the highest rate of COVID incidences in the country, with a rate of infection double that of the national average.

“It is indeed regrettable that alterations must be made to the partner visiting arrangements in the Maternity Unit in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital. However, as you are aware, the hospital is currently experiencing a surge in both attendances with COVID symptomatology and in COVID positive admissions,” said Louth TD Fergus O’Dowd. “The safety of the women (and their partners) attending the Maternity department for maternity care remains, and always will be, our priority, we consider these interim measures our only option with the COVID burden as it currently stands”.

In the fortnight between November 2nd and 11th, there were 668 positive cases of COVID detected in the centre of Drogheda.

The national rate currently stands at 1,160 cases per 100,000 people. With a population of 27,656, the rate for the town centre area is 2,415 per 100,000 people.

This means one in every 41 people in the town has tested positive.

The areas surrounding Drogheda don’t fare much better, with Clogherhead and Termonfeckin showing an incidence rate of 1,963 per 100,000 people, making it the third most-infected locality in the country.

Laytown-Bettystown in Co Meath, just south of the town, had the fifth highest incidence rate with 1,878 cases per 100,000.

Ardee showed 378 cases in the same period.

Meanwhile Louth & East Meath TD Ged Nash has contacted the HSE to demand that Drogheda is provided with a centre to administer the COVID 19 booster jabs.

“It was hard work to persuade the HSE to deploy DIFE as a community vaccination centre for the first phase of vaccination and the debacle involving the slow rollout of the Janssen jab to the 50-60 age group cannot be repeated,” he said. 

“The booster jabs are urgent and the HSE says it plans to administer over 250,000 jabs per week with NIAC thankfully looking at narrowing the timeframe between shots. That decision cannot come quickly enough.”

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