Mayo University Hospital (MUH ) is reverting to virtual outpatient clinics for the next two weeks and most elective procedures at the hospital have also been deferred, apart from time-critical procedures and cancer cases, which are still going ahead. Patients are being notified directly of cancellations.
The team at MUH continues to manage internal outbreaks of COVID- 19 (an outbreak is defined as two or more cases ) which is having an impact on the bed availability in the hospital.
In addition, the rising numbers in the community are likely to lead to further hospitalisations. The deferrals will be for a two-week period (which started on Tuesday, January 5 ) initially and will be kept under review.
Commenting, Catherine Donohoe, Hospital Manager at MUH said: "We regret the impact that these deferrals will have on our patients but it is a really important part of maintaining critical and emergency services.
"We are seeing a significant and sustained increase in the number of patients hospitalised with Covid-19 and as of 8pm on January 4, there were 50 Covid-19 positive patients being treated in MUH.
"It is really important that patients who are attending the hospital for a procedure / appointment continue to follow all the public health guidance, including wearing a face mask. We also remind patients to attend the hospital alone, unless the support of another person is essential.
"We know that this may be difficult for patients and their families but we must implement these changes as part of our efforts to protect our patients and staff.
"We would like to remind the public that visiting restrictions are in place at the hospital. Members of the public should not visit the hospital except on compassionate grounds and these visits should be arranged in advance with the nurse manager on the ward. This is also the case for our maternity services. Partner presence will still be facilitated for labour.
"The hospital continues to be extremely busy and we would also like to remind the public that we encourage them to attend the Emergency Department only in the case of emergencies. If your health problem is not an emergency, you should contact your GP during normal surgery hours or the Westdoc GP out of hours service, in the first instance.
"In relation to the COVID-19 vaccination programme, we are initiating the roll-out of the vaccines to front line workers in the hospital this week. This is a very positive step and we will work hard to get all staff vaccinated as quickly as possible.
"Finally, we want to thank the public for their support and co-operation as we manage both the outbreak and the increase in patients with Covid-19 presenting to the hospital."