Seventeen people who are still at a residential centre in Co Laois where eight patients died last weekend after testing positive for Covid-19 will have their conditions reviewed by medical consultants from the Midlands Regional Hospital, Portlaoise, the Health Service Executive has said.

Additional personal protective equipment has also been provided to staff at Maryborough Centre, St Fintan's Hospital, which is a long stay centre dealing with psychiatry of later life. 

The HSE said that even though some staff are absent on sick leave at the Maryborough Centre they have brought in additional workers to help manage the facility.

Eight residents who had tested positive for Covid-19, died at the centre over the bank holiday weekend and now medical consultants and a palliative care consultant will provide daily and as required intervention in conjunction with the consultant psychiatrist and nursing staff for the residents remaining there. 

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The local community in Laois has also rallied to support the staff and patients with new supplies of PPE presented in the last 24 hours. 

Meanwhile, the National Lead for Integrated Care with the Health Service Executive has said staff at Maryborough had followed HSE policy, which is to separate and cohort those with the coronavirus.

Dr Siobhán Ní Bhriain said they mobilised a lot of support from Midlands Regional Hospital, Portlaoise, and they were able to manage staff rosters to ensure the residents got the care they needed. 

"Tragically they all died within a short space of time." 

None of the residents who died at Maryborough last weekend were transferred to hospital after they were infected. 

"Decisions were made about the level of care by the two consultants from Portlaoise hospital and the overall feeling was there would have been no benefit by transferring them to hospital."

She said she is deeply sorry for the families who lost their loved ones.

For those who remain in the residential centre are being "closely monitored" and if they require testing they will get it, she said. 

In general, Dr Ní Bhriain said the situation may arise that some residents may need to be moved out of a nursing home setting depending on a Covid-19 outbreak.

"If we find it unmanageable in one nursing home we will look at moving them into another facility."

She said there are daily outbreak meetings and for now the Health Information and Quality Authority feels quite strongly that people should not be moved out of their current setting.