The HSE has confirmed that seven residents have died with Covid-19 in West Kerry Community Hospital in recent weeks.

Staff have been dealing with an outbreak at the Dingle facility since Christmas.

Measures have been taken to contain the outbreak and additional supports have been provided to staff at the hospital, where 31 residents are currently being cared for.

It's understood a significant number of both residents and staff are still affected by Covid-19.

Cork Kerry Community Healthcare Management says it wishes to reassure the community that every possible precaution has been taken and continues to be taken to keep residents and staff safe.

"It is with great sadness that we confirm that eight residents of West Kerry Community Hospital in Dingle have passed away in recent weeks, seven of whom were confirmed positive for Covid-19. Our sincere sympathies are with the families and friends of residents who have passed away.

"This is an incredibly difficult time for families, for the community and for the staff caring for the residents at West Kerry Community Hospital. Management and staff at West Kerry Community Hospital wish to reassure the community that they are continuing to provide both compassionate and high-quality care to all residents."

A number of residents who had tested positive for Covid-19 are now recovering well.

The HSE has said additional supports are in place to help contain the outbreak and to support the staff at the hospital.

"Every possible effort is continuing to keep residents and staff safe, with stringent measures in place to prevent the spread of infection. We will continue to do everything in our power to protect the health of our residents.

"The dedicated staff at West Kerry Community Hospital continue to provide every possible comfort and reassurance to residents and their loved ones.

"Sadly, a significant number of both residents and staff are still affected by Covid-19, and every possible support is in place for them. We thank the wider community for their support, as well as the colleagues from across the entire health service who have provided so much support.

"This support has enabled staff to continue to provide safe person-centred care."

The first round of the Covid-19 Vaccination Programme has been completed within the hospital and all residents and staff who consented and were deemed medically fit were vaccinated.