The Government, with great concern, has confirmed a major outbreak of COVID-19 within our Elderly Residential Service. There are currently 48 residents positive with COVID-19; 39 at Mount Alvernia, 4 at the Jewish Home and 5 at the John Macintosh Home.

Although most residents and staff were asymptomatic, these cases have been detected due to the rigorous swabbing screening programme in place.

Since the early days of this pandemic, the dedicated teams at ERS have worked tirelessly to put in place meticulous infection prevention measures, which are updated regularly, to curtail the spread of the virus. Furthermore, the ERS has been and is medicalised since late last March and currently the ERS medical team are active within the premises 24/7 dedicating time explicitly to those with the virus.

In addition to the PCR screening programme, ERS have introduced Antigen testing (LFD Innova), which is carried out on all residents and staff on a daily basis at each shift before entry to the premises. This has provided an even earlier detection time for positive cases, reducing the spread and providing early intervention and isolation of both residents and staff.

In order to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, residents are being cohorted into bubbles to safeguard and prevent any further exposure. All positives, as well as their close contacts, remain in isolated areas. To maintain these bubbles, 30 beds have been added in Mount Alvernia and a further 24 in Bellavista.

Minister with responsibility for Health and Care, Samantha Sacramento MP said “The safety and well-being of our residents in ERS remains our top priority and we will continue to use all the resources available to us to protect them and keep them safe.

I have nothing but praise for the management and all staff at the ERS for their absolute dedication to the service and its residents and always going over and above to keep them safe. I cannot thank everyone at ERS enough for the work that they are doing during these difficult times.