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Southern Trust suspends visits as Covid figures rise

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The Southern Trust has suspended visiting from Friday evening due to increasing cases of Covid-19.

In a statement, a Trust spokesperson said: “Due to increasing cases of Covid-19 within our communities, visiting will be suspended from 9pm this evening (except for end of life visiting).”

It added that friends and family can arrange virtual visiting appointments by calling 07776516419 between 9am-5pm.

The Department of Health has also announced there will be no further relaxations for care home visitor rules following the latest review.

It comes as 1,380 positive cases were recorded on Friday, the highest figure seen since January 5.

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On care home visits, the Department of Health said there would be no further relaxations recommended at this time with the next review set for August 16.

The current arrangements have been in place since May 7 and allow two visits per week, with children allowed to visit as long as they adhere to all infection control measures.

Visits are also currently limited to two people at a time and lasting up to one hours.

Residents are also allowed to take trips out of the home in line with general restrictions applicable to the public.

A staged approach to gradually increase safe care home visits was set out in “Visiting With Care – A Pathway”.

The guidance was developed with the Public Health Agency as well as representatives from the statutory sector, various relatives’ groups and independent healthcare providers.

It includes a commitment for regular reviews to assess progress back to more normalised visiting.

The Department stated that while “outstanding progress has been made to date it was necessary to “remain vigilant and maintain the cautious approach that has brought us so far.”


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