There has been an outbreak of Covid-19 on a ward at the Regional Hospital Mullingar.

It has been confirmed that a number of patients there have tested positive for coronavirus.

The ward is closed to new admissions, discharges and transfers out. Patients in the ward will continue with their care and treatments.

In accordance with Health Protection Surveillance Centre guidelines, the Hospital Outbreak Control Team was convened and is undertaking testing and contact tracing of both staff and patients to ensure the protection of public health.

Staff identified as close contacts are self-isolating.

In a statement, Regional Hospital Mullingar said it would "like to reassure staff and patients that the appropriate steps have been taken in accordance with the national guidelines. Staff and patients have been provided with key hospital contacts should any concerns need to be addressed."

It added: "The protection of public health is of utmost importance to the hospital and every effort is being taken to reduce the spread of Covid-19 at this time.

"Please adhere to the newly announced Government restrictions, do not visit the hospital or any healthcare facility and if you have any symptoms, please contact your GP by phone."