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Coronavirus hits 20 Northern Ireland care homes with one Co Tyrone resident dying


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McCauley House

McCauley House

Lindsay Conway

Lindsay Conway

McCauley House

Twenty care homes across Northern Ireland have reported positive cases of the deadly coronavirus, the Health Minister has revealed.

Robin Swann disclosed the figure yesterday as it was reported that a care home resident in Co Tyrone died after testing positive for Covid-19.

The Health Minister, speaking at the daily Stormont press briefing, said cases identified within care homes were being managed by the Public Health Agency (PHA) and the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA).

"If anyone needs to be moved into hospital, that is being done, there is no time lag or delay," said Mr Swann.

This includes any care home resident that requires critical care, the minister continued.

"A resident of a care home is a member of our society, so they won't be treated any different, nor should they be," Mr Swann added.

The latest death toll here stands at 73, after three further deaths were confirmed within the last 24 hours.

Yesterday it emerged a nursing home resident at Harold McCauley House in Omagh passed away after being diagnosed with coronovirus.

The Ulster Herald reported that other residents at Harold McCauley House and the person's family have been informed.

The home is managed by the Presbyterian Church in Ireland's Council for Social Witness. It said it was doing "absolutely everything" to prevent the spread of infection.

Lindsay Conway, the church's director of social service, yesterday offered his condolences to the resident's loved ones.

"Whenever a resident passes away it is an extremely sad time for the loved ones that they have left behind and the staff who cared and looked after them," he said.

"During these particular difficult days, to know that one of our residents passed away as a result of the current pandemic, brings the reality and enormity of the situation even closer to home.

"Our heartfelt condolences, sympathy and prayers go out to the family and wider family circle."

He stressed that measures are in place at the care home to "minimise the risk and prevent the spread of infection".

He added: "This, of course, means following Public Health Agency and Department of Health guidelines stringently.

"We have also taken the precaution of moving residents to their rooms to further protect them."

Mr Conway continued: "At this time also I want to commend the staff in Harold McCauley House for their dedication and commitment that is above and beyond the call of duty in these unprecedented times."

Belfast Telegraph