All patients attending the local public hospitals are asked to attend the facilities alone, except in exceptional circumstances.
Saolta University Health Care Group, which runs the seven public hospitals in the west and north-west, including three in Galway - University Hospital Galway, Merlin Park University Hospital, and Portiuncula University Hospital in Ballinasloe - issued the request this week. It also reminded people to wear masks when attending the hospitals.
A spokesperson for the organisation also stressed that visiting restrictions continue other than in the case of patients who are at end of life or other exceptional circumstances.
People who have hospital appointments should attend these as usual. “We have worked hard to ensure that the hospitals and clinics are safe for patients. We have separate entrances to the hospitals to allow us manage patients attending the hospital for non-Covid 19 appointments while also managing patients with suspected or confirmed Covid-19.”
However, the hospital group appealed to patients not to attend hospital for their scheduled appointments if they have any Covid-19 symptoms in a bid to minimise the spread of the virus.
“Patients should not come to the hospital if any member of their household is showing any potential symptoms or signs of Covid-19 or if they are a close contact with a confirmed case. If patients have any doubts, we advise that they call us in advance of their appointment to check. This is both for the patients’ protection and the protection of others.”