By Sean Moriarty
Concerns have been raised about the length of time it takes for the results of COVID-19 tests to be returned to residents and staff at Killarney Nursing Home.
Residents, staff, and family members were left waiting six days for results after a suspected case of the disease was identified at the Rock Road care facility.
On Monday of last week (January 18) there was one suspected case of Coronavirus at the nursing home.
On the same day every resident and staff member was tested and the nominated family contact of the resident was informed that testing had commenced.
However, it was the following Saturday before family members were informed that all tests had returned negative.
Several family members contacted local TD Michael Healy-Rae concerned that life was continuing as normal at the care home despite a potential COVID-19 case there.
According to Deputy Healy-Rae, they were angry that they were left uninformed between Monday and Saturday, and that either staff or residents there, if positive, could have led to a larger outbreak at the home.
“It was a lot of stress and a big concern to the families,” he told the Killarney Advertiser.
Mr Healy-Rae said that he accepted that the entire medical sector was under pressure and that it would not be fair to place blame on the HSE in this instance.
Instead, priority should be given to healthcare workers as they will need results back quicker.
“It was a very genuine case for these families,” he said. “I spoke to the HSE and I would be hopeful that if there is a suspected case in such settings that test results would be prioritised.”
In the meantime, all residents of the Killarney Nursing Home received their vaccination on Wednesday of this week.