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Nursing homes await guidance on visitors


Commissioner for Older People Eddie Lynch

Commissioner for Older People Eddie Lynch

@Press Eye/Darren Kidd

Commissioner for Older People Eddie Lynch

Nursing homes across Northern Ireland are awaiting guidelines from health experts over whether to impose restrictions on the number of visitors as concerns over the spread of the coronavirus grow.

Homes with elderly residents say they are continuing to take guidelines from the Public Health Authority, though in the Republic of Ireland, Nursing Homes Ireland (NHI) announced there would be a ban on children and groups visiting in a bid to prevent the spread of the disease.

It's understood the Commissioner for Older People, Eddie Lynch, will be meeting with health chiefs at the Health and Social Care Board early next week to discuss the concerns.

Several care home operators in Northern Ireland said they were monitoring the situation closely, but would be following advice from the Public Health Authority about whether limits on visitors and other preventative measures should be put in place.

"We are always vigilant for illnesses that could impact our residents and are fully focused on the safety and wellbeing of our residents and team," a Four Seasons spokesperson said.

"Our Senior Clinicians and Health and Safety representatives are actively reviewing and acting on all guidance from the authorities regarding coronavirus."

Belfast Telegraph